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NEW CASTLE, Pa. (KDKA) — Fire destroyed one house and damaged others in a neighborhood in New Castle, Lawrence County.

Firefighters were called to the 200 block of East Cherry Street in the Mahoningtown section of New Castle around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A neighbor was one of the first to spot the fire and call 911. She alerted neighbors who live next door to the burning house.

“I stepped out into the street and saw that the house was on fire,” said Sally Mansfield. “I went running up the street and pounded on Jimmy’s door to get him and his dad out.”

By the time firefighters arrived, the vacant house was engulfed in flames. It eventually burned to the ground. Crews focused on protecting neighboring homes.

A home next door sustained fire damage. The heat from the fire was so intense it also melted siding on two houses across the street, as well as the taillights and molding on a fire truck. Nearby utility poles also caught fire, causing electrical wires to fall to the ground.

New Castle’s fire investigator said the fire is considered suspicious, but it will be difficult to determine the cause because the house was destroyed.

“It looked like it started in the back, up on the second floor,” Mansfield said.

The fire investigator said he was also told by neighbors that the house had been vacant for about 15 years and that no one had been seen coming and going for about a month. It’s believed that the owner of the house had been using it for storage.

No injuries were reported.

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