PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Early Friday morning, February temperatures were in the mid-50s, but things were significantly hotter at a home on East Rose Way.

“Companies arrived on scene with heavy smoke and fire showing in the first and second divisions,” said Homestead Volunteer Fire Chief Jim Barca. “There’s no injuries. It is an occupied house and the residents were not home at the time.”

Volunteer fire fighters from Homestead and the surrounding communities responded to the smoky fire. One of the biggest challenges for crews getting to the scene was getting their equipment close enough to the home. Narrow streets made it tough to navigate.

“It was a little tight getting the trucks in, but once we were able to get them in, we were able to complete our job,” Barca said.

Even though temperatures were well above freezing when the alarm sounded a little after 7 a.m., crews spread salt on the street to avoid slip-and-fall injuries on large patches of ice.

The fire spread to both floors of the home. Crews used ladders to climb up onto the structure to vent the roof after the main flames were knocked down. The occupied home was empty when the fire started – meaning crews have little input from the people who live there about how the fire began.

“It is under investigation by the Allegheny County Fire Marshal,” Barca said.

The fire was knocked down in less than an hour, but crews remained on the scene to extinguish hot spots to keep it from re-starting.

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