PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A fire destroyed a vacant duplex Tuesday evening in the city’s East End, causing more fears for neighbors already concerned about public safety in their community.
The blaze was reported in a duplex in the 500-block of Winfield Street around 6:20 p.m.
Three alarms were sounded and firefighters were able to contain the blaze, keeping the flames from spreading to an adjacent home.
Sonya Toler, spokeswoman for Pittsburgh Public Safety, said, “We have no evidence showing these houses were occupied, so we believe they were vacant. We have no civilian injuries. One firefighter did complain of shoulder pain, but he refused medical attention.”
There was a one-alarm fire in a vacant home just across the street, less than 24 hours earlier. Neighbors said firefighters were on the scene several hours Monday night bringing that blaze under control.
“We do not know if all of these are connected fires in any way, all of that is under investigation,” Toler said.
A few months ago, fire damaged vacant homes on Shetland Street, a block away from the Winfield Street fires.
A community organizer said some people in the neighborhood have been trying to get the city to clean up the area.
They say the abandoned homes and rash of fires are not only an eyesore, but, more importantly, they pose a health hazard.
Dee Chatterfield told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “We, as a group, as a community, we have talked about thee burned down houses, sent letters to the city, been in correspondence. I took pictures of them. They told me they were going to act on them no later than May, nothing’s been done.”