PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Four firefighters were injured in a house collapse Friday night while battling a massive and fast-moving three-alarm blaze in the city’s Observatory Hill neighborhood.
The first reports of the fire came in just after 6:30 p.m. in the 3900 block of Vinceton Street.
Anyih Horne, who lives next door, said she heard a big crackling sound.
“It was the most terrifying thing I have ever seen,” she said.
The home was completely destroyed.
It didn’t take long for flames to engulf the entire home, and the injuries occurred when the structure collapsed.
“During the initial entry into the building, the building suffered a catastrophic collapse,” said Pittsburgh Fire Bureau Asst. Chief Tom Cook. “The net result was we had four firefighters injured and transported to hospitals. Luckily, none of the injuries are deemed serious.”
The firefighters’ injuries could have been much worse had they been in a different location in the structure.
“They were just making entry or just stepping back out of the structure onto the front porch when it came down,” said Asst. Chief Cook.
City officials say it all could have been much worse.
“We’re very lucky. The combined effort between the firefighters and once there was a collapse, the paramedics assisted the firefighters and extricated them and transported them to the hospital,” said Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.
Neighbors say they believe the house was vacant, but the investigation and a thorough check of the scene will resume on Saturday morning.
“Under daylight, we will begin dismantling the remains of the building using heavy equipment to: a.) determine that no one was in the building and b.) work on our investigation for the cause of the fire,” said Asst. Chief Cook.