PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A townhouse complex in Pittsburgh’s Fairywood neighborhood was severely damaged in a fire on Friday afternoon.
According to officials at the scene, the fire started around 10:30 a.m. inside an apartment in the Emerald Gardens complex.
Exactly what caused the fire isn’t known, but the townhouse was empty at the time. Some neighbors reported a possible explosion before the fire began.
“One of the workers heard an explosion,” said neighbor Larry Jablonski. “These units are heated by gas-forced air, but I don’t know.”
City of Pittsburgh firefighters have not confirmed the explosion, but say that when they got to the Onyx Court home, the fire was coming out of the second story.
“Crews arrived quickly on scene, made sure no one was inside the building, and with a rapid interior attack, the fire was confined to the room of origin in the building,” said Assistant Chief Tom Cook, of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire.
Assistant Chief Cook calls it a textbook fire knock down. Crews were able to make sure that the fire did not spread to the other townhomes surrounding it. As a result, there are now huge holes in the roof and front of the structure.
“The firemen, going on the roof, opening it up, they had the blaze put out within minutes,” he said.
A neighbor who lives to the left-hand side of the home that caught on fire got a call from Emerald Gardens management about it. He’s from Azerbaijan and has all of his personal information inside of his house, so he ran inside quickly to make sure that he could get it.
“All of my documents my passport, my visa, everything is here,” said neighbor Naib Alyieb.
He says that there is water and smoke damage in his townhouse, and that it’ll be a few weeks before he believes he’ll be able to stay there again. But it pales in comparison to the damage done to the neighboring house.
No injuries were reported.