By Amy Wadas

PITCAIRN (KDKA) — Authorities are investigating the cause of a house fire in Pitcairn Friday afternoon that claimed the life of one man.

Firefighters were called to the home in the 1400-block of Wall Avenue around 3 p.m. Officials say the flames were so intense, they are lucky the fire didn’t spread to the home next door.

“When I got here, you could see the flames coming out. It was real bad,” witness Elana Boumila said.

When Boumila heard about the, she raced down the street to see what was going on.

“When I pulled up, this whole area was in gray,” Boumila said.

When fire units arrived at the scene, the home was already engulfed.

“The description that I got from those who arrived first on scene is that they had flames coming out of every door and window, particularly the first floor,” Chief of Allegheny County Emergency Services Matt Brown said.

Someone was trapped inside.

“There were several passersby who reportedly made attempts to enter home, but were unable to due to heat, smoke and flames,” Brown said.

Pitcairn’s police chief says one of his officers was first one scene and tried to get inside the home, but couldn’t because the fire was too intense.

When firefighters did get inside, they found the victim on the first floor near the back of the home. Family members stood by watching in horror.

Family members and neighbors say the victim, a man, lived alone. One neighbor says he had a daughter and was a nice guy that kept to himself.

The fire was brought under control close to an hour and a half later.

“No sign of anything criminal, no sign of anything unusual at this point,” Brown said.

It’s unclear how the fire started. The Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause.

KDKA-TV is still waiting for the medical examiner to release the victim’s name.

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