By Amy Wadas

McKEES ROCKS (KDKA) — Smoke could be seen for miles after a home in McKees Rocks went up in flames Wednesday afternoon.

It broke out around 12:45 p.m. in the 400-block of Russellwood Avenue.

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Pamela Grover is still in shock that her home is gone.

“I have no idea what were gonna do,” Grover said.

She was at work when the fire happened. Her husband was at home with the family pets.

“My husband didn’t even get out of house with clothes,” Grover said.

“I grabbed my two ferrets and pulled them out the back door they called 911 and here I am now,” Carl Grover said.

The couples three dogs didn’t make it, but Pamela is thankful her husband did.

“Just seen smoke, came downstairs in fire and I couldn’t do anything tried to put it out just couldn’t do it,” Carl Grover said.

Firefighters couldn’t save the home because the fire spread too quickly, but they did all they could to save the one next door.

“Siding is melted and scorched but got lines on it initially and able to keep fire from spreading to neighboring building,” McKees Rocks Fire Chief Nick Radoycis said.

The woman that lives there wasn’t home. Neither was her daughter.

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Neighbors are upset, and say there’s a battle between McKees rocks and Stowe Township fire departments.

“I guess because this is McKees rocks, Stowe township is right over there and they didn’t come,” Sheena, a witness said.

“This is two fire departments that are fighting against each other over territorial crap and the fire station is right across the street. It’s ridiculous and McKees rocks fire department showed up first,” witness Brian Berrisford said.

But The McKees rocks fire chief says there is no fight.

“At this point in time the fire is in McKees Rocks not in Stowe Township. McKees Rocks was first called to scene and we sounded a second alarm calling Stowe for assistance, which is pretty much typical procedure,” Chief Radoycis said.

But no matter who responded first, one thing is for certain tonight. The Grovers have each other and will find a way to get through this.

Some people say it took the fire department 25 minutes to get here.

The McKees rocks fire chief says when there’s a frantic situation going on, just a few minutes could feel like a half hour.

It’s unclear how the fire started.

The fire marshal is on scene investigating the cause.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

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