By Ross Guidotti

MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – A vacant home in McKeesport went up in flames early Tuesday morning.

According to officials at the scene, the fire broke out in the 2600-block of Cleveland Street around 1:45 a.m.

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The fire is believed to have begun on the porch and the flames were dangerously close to neighbors’ homes. However, firefighters kept the damage to a minimum.

Neighbors spotted the flames and called 911.

“When I walked out, I saw the porch on fire and I was like, ‘Oh my God, did anybody call 911?’ And I saw my neighbor across the street and said, ‘Did you call 911?’ because I saw her on the phone and she said, ‘Yes.’ So, I said, ‘Did anybody get the people out of the house next door?’ And she said, ‘No we didn’t.’ So, I ran over and pounded on the door and got them out of the house,” Libby Sosdaric said.

Once on scene firefighters began to battle the blaze and halt its spread. The neighboring structures suffered only minor damage.

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In the daylight, it’s easy to see how the fire got going so quick and became so intense because while the home is vacant, it’s not empty of contents.

“Unfortunately, the home has still got furniture and everything in it, which fueled the fire, too,” said Chief Kevin Lust, of the McKeesport Fire Department.

The residence has no utilities.

While it’s not been officially ruled suspicious or arson it wouldn’t be unusual, many vacant or abandoned homes in McKeesport have been set alight in the past.

“It’s unfortunate we have so many abandoned homes,” said Chief Lust. “We’re trying to get them down as fast as we can. It’s just a money problem.”


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