HOMESTEAD (KDKA) – Firefighters had their hands full with a three-alarm fire early Thursday morning in Homestead.
It started just after midnight at a duplex on Dickson Street.READ MORE: Public Safety Warns Of Traffic Disruptions Ahead Of President Joe Biden's Visit This Week
Five separate families lived there, but now they have to find somewhere else to go since their home is no longer livable.
“Before I knew it, people were banging on the windows and the door,” said Shannon Amati. “I ran downstairs, he screamed, ‘Your house is on fire, you have to get out.’ So, I ran upstairs and got my children. By the time we got to the door, flames were coming over the apartment.”
Amati said she was thankful that a woman who lives in the building called 911 or else it could have been a different ending for her and her family.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, the entire second floor of the building was on fire.
“The flames, wow, wow. You don’t often see a fire like that,” neighbor Susan Winters said.
Winters lives in a neighboring apartment building, and saw the flames from her porch.READ MORE: Hill District To Get New Grocery Store In Place Of Former Shop 'N Save
There were people living in five of the six units in the building, but they were able to safely get out. Fire crews also evacuated a high-rise building next door, over fears the fire may spread.
Port Authority buses were brought to the scene to help keep those who were evacuated warm.
“I’m at every fire. My responsibility is to make sure the town is safe. The firemen are safe, police officers are safe, the people are safe,” Mayor Betty Esper said. “We were lucky, I think, on this one.”
One firefighter was taken to the hospital for some minor injuries. He was treated and released. None of the residents of the duplex were injured.
The Red Cross is helping five families with food, clothing and shelter. The families have been put up in a nearby hotel.
Investigators believe the fire started in an apartment on the second floor. The fire marshal is investigating the cause.
The mayor says the property manager reached out to his insurance company to determine what to do next as far as demolition.
The building inspector has also been called to take a look at the structure. The building will most likely come down within the week.MORE NEWS: PTL Links: Jan. 27, 2022