BRACKENRIDGE (KDKA) — Flames were shooting from the windows and smoke billowed high into the sky when fire broke out Monday afternoon at a duplex in Brackenridge.
It started just before 4:30 p.m. in the 800 block of Seventh Avenue, and flames poured from the structure for more than an hour.
Firefighters from at least four area volunteer departments converged on the scene.
Dana Gillis, who had lived in the home up until earlier this month, was under eviction orders. She told the fire chief that while she was not living in the home any longer, she still had not moved all of her belongings out.
“Thank God we weren’t living in the house. We could have been in there, it could have been us that got hurt really bad,” Gillis said. “As far as I know, it could have been arson or electrical.”
KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti: “Do you think anyone was living there now?”
Iannotti: “Maybe a squatter?”
Gillis: “It could be. I mean, somebody might have been watching me move out. I left the window open. They could have got in and been there, because there’s still stuff in there.”
Using ladder trucks, firefighters were forced to attack the blaze from from different locations. The fire chief said there were multiple roofs on the structure.
“We haven’t gotten in there yet. I believe there were two roofs on it, the back had a rubber roof on it. Those are really tough, really tough, because of the roof situation. We had to attack it from different corners, we put one [ladder] on each corner,” Pioneer Fire Company Chief Rick Jones said.
Chief Jones speculated that someone, perhaps, remodeled the home and what’s why there were two roofs.
The Allegheny County Fire Marshal has not determined the cause of the fire.