By Amy Wadas

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MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – Two vacant homes in McKeesport were damaged in an early Friday morning fire.

From a distance, smoke could be seen billowing from a home on Ridge Street, near Versailles Avenue. Neighbors like Kathy Peck watched as the abandoned home burned.

“When I saw it, it was 7:30. I [saw] flames coming up and [saw] the smoke. A whole bunch of it going off,” said Peck.

(Photo Credit: Steve Willing/KDKA)

“Crews arrived on scene and they have one house fully-involved. A vacant structure starting to spread to a second house. Immediately call for a second alarm. Crews come back. Ladder on scene. Aggressive attack,” said McKeesport Fire Chief Jeffrey Tomovcsik.

Firefighters did what they could to stop the fire from spreading but nothing worked. The EMS chief spotted the smoke and called in the fire.

“All fires, until we determine the cause, we consider suspicious. We let the county fire marshal make that determination and they’ll let us know,” said Tomovcsik.

Peck said this area has been prone to fires lately.

“That whole patch is all abandoned,” said Peck. “It needs to get addressed to the council. They need to start working on these houses up here.”

“It’s an issue for sure. In the city, the administration are working a plan they have contracted out almost 300 vacant homes for demolition throughout the end of the year, early next year,” said Tomovcsik.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

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