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MCKEESPORT, Pa. (KDKA) – Four people, including a 5-year-old girl, were injured after escaping an intense house fire in McKeesport early Saturday morning.

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The fire on Cleveland Street left the house in rubble and damaged two houses on each side, three houses across the street and a number of cars on the street.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Tim Lawson)

Two of the victims, a woman and her boyfriend, were able to escape by jumping off a porch roof. A neighbor says the boyfriend broke his arm when he caught the woman.

Another woman was carried down a ladder by firefighters, and the young girl was coaxed out a window and caught while escaping the flames.

All four victims are at UPMC Mercy Hospital. There is currently no information available on the extent of their injuries.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Tim Lawson)

Firefighters had issues with a lack of water while fighting the blaze.

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“It took 20 minutes to bring water to this fire. The people who were in that house are very lucky to be alive,” said one neighbor who did not want to be identified.

He says it’s a common problem in the Grandview neighborhood.

Residents said they are going to raise concerns about the issue at the next council meeting.


After the fire, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko met with officials from the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County to talk about improving the volume of water in higher elevated neighborhoods like Grandview.

“This administration’s not going to settle for anything less than a permanent fix, which is gonna be to run a new line right down through that area that our men will be able to tap into without going an extra block or two,” Cherepko said.

Cherepko also offered his thoughts and prayers to the fire victims, their family and neighbors in the area.

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The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County released a statement saying over the past 12 months, it has invested $3 million in the system and during the next 12 months, it will invest another $2.1 million. The authority says it is looking at distribution upgrades that will improve service in that area.