FRANKLIN PARK (KDKA) — No day is a good day to fight a fire, but on Thursday, it was 19 degrees – felt like 12 – and up on that aerial ladder, water is spraying back at you.

The call came in just before 11 a.m., bringing nearly half a dozen fire companies to the scene. But the house on Holmes Drive in the Settlers Walk neighborhood went up fast.

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Murali Otti, his wife Saritha, and their two sons were not at home when it started.

Pavan Otti arrived from a doctor’s appointment to find firefighters mopping up.

“I think it’s part of the electrical wiring of the house,” said Pavan.

His parents were at a neighbor’s on the phone about insurance.

The damage to the house was far worse than neighbor Eric Palmer expected.

“They’re wonderful people; they’re great neighbors. It’s just a shame,” he said. “I’m glad nobody was home. I’m glad nobody got hurt.”

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The exact cause has yet to be determined.

The Allegheny County Fire Marshal is investigating.

Damage to the home is extensive.

“The fire extended from the second floor into the roof, ran the roof,” said Capt. Bill Chicots, of the Franklin Park VFD.

The home appears to be a total loss, but in any case, it is a very tightly-knit neighborhood and the family should have lots of support.

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