SCOTT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A devastating fire ripped through three homes in Scott Township Wednesday afternoon, causing significant damage and leaving some residents with nothing but the clothes on their back.
Fire officials say they aren’t sure what started the fire, but are pointing to the front room of the duplex in the middle of the three homes that burned.
“We saw just this big, huge cloud, and then we just got here and it was just burned,” said Jacob Zack, a witness. “One of our friends lives here, like his mom lives here.”
For Tonya Calhoun, it’s a nightmare. She and her family lived in one of the three homes that caught fire on Washington Avenue.
“I have nothing. I have nothing; I’m in my night clothes,” said Calhoun.
Her home is the one on the end of the street.
Calhoun says her cancer medication was inside, and her two cats.
“[I] was sleeping when it happened, then my niece drove by and seen the next door neighbor’s house on fire. She came and banged on door and told us to get out,” said Calhoun.
Things got out of control around 3 p.m.
Fortunately, Ron Mixter was nearby.
“Second time in a year this has happened,” said Mixter who rescued one of the fire victims. “Am I in the right place at right time or wrong place at wrong time?”
Mixter saved a man from a burning home in Heidelberg back in April. This time around, he rescued a woman from the duplex where fire officials believe the fire started.
She was home alone.
“Just instinct,” said Mixter. “I ran across 50 and beat on her door where flames were coming out at. No answer, went across to the duplex on the side, beat on that door, she opened that door. I go back, help the lady out of house.”
“We had power lines down when we pulled up. Power lines burned off the house and we had to avoid a certain area,” said Glendale Fire Department Deputy Chief Frank Salerno.
Duquesne Light had to shut off power to the three homes affected. The home to the right mainly had exterior damage, but the other two were much more severe.
Meanwhile, Washington Avenue is back open to traffic after being closed for hours.
The woman who was rescued was taken to Saint Clair Hospital to get checked out, but she’s expected to be okay. No other injuries were reported.
The Salvation Army is assisting the victims.
The duplex has been boarded up now, and fire officials say it’s up to the township to decide if it should be demolished.
The fire marshal is investigating the cause.
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