NEW SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — In a whirl of wind, smoke and snow, firefighters descended on the 400-block of General Braddock Road in New Sewickley Township on Thursday morning.

“We probably got about eight companies here right now,” said Assistant Chief Tim Luft, of the Rillton Fire Department. “I brought everybody up for manpower on my alarm to come up to the scene.”

Reported at 9:41 a.m., the flames quickly consumed the two-story brick home.

The flames were whipped up by strong wind gusts.

“The wind is so bad it’s blowing the fire night at you,” said Chief Luft.

The fire so intense the incident commander gave the order to clear out.

Eventually, firefighters re-entered to put out hot spots.

Water had to trucked in, which is inconvenient for firefighters. But Chief Luft says it is something they “learn to live with every day” in rural areas.

Two dogs died in the fire, a woman and her children – ages 3 and 1 – lived in the home.

Three years ago, the same house was heavily damaged but rebuilt after a tornado.

This time, however, officials say it’s a total loss.

The exact cause of this fire has yet to be determined. The state police fire marshal is being brought in to investigate.

The woman and her two children will be staying with friends.

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