BELLEVUE (KDKA) — One man was able to escape to safety when fire broke out at a duplex in Bellevue early Wednesday morning.
The three-alarm fire broke out just before 6:30 a.m. near the corner of South Bryant and Lincoln Avenues.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, the Bellevue fire marshal said they found flames in the basement. The smoke then billowed through the rest of the home, and eventually the flames shot through the roof.
“When they got to the roof, there was about a five-foot flame,” said neighbor Brian Marquette.
Marquette woke up to the sound of fire trucks in the distance. He soon realized his neighbor’s house was on fire.
“Just looked outside. You didn’t see a lot of smoke coming out. It was still kind of contained inside, but when they started breaking the windows you were able to start seeing the smoke billow out,” said Marquette.
According to the fire marshal, only the left side of the duplex was occupied.
The man who lived there was sleeping when the fire broke out. A neighbor called and told the man what was going on and he managed to make it out safely.
UPDATE: Fire officials tell us one firefighter was injured during the fire fight here in Bellevue. He was inside the home and somehow hurt his ribs. He was taken to a local hospital. @kdka #upwithKDKA pic.twitter.com/HYPx0VJOGW
— Amy Wadas (@AmyWadas) September 12, 2018
The right side of the building is under construction.
“Heavy smoke throughout the second and third floors and a fire was definitely visible from a basement window on the right side,” said Bellevue Fire Marshal Jeff Wissner. “This is a bloom-frame construction and when a fire starts in a lower level, once the fire gets in the walls, it’s going to have straight access to the roof because there’s no fire stops.”
Wissner said one firefighter suffered a rib injury and taken to a local hospital for treatment.
However, the street has been shut down and there’s no word on when it will reopen.
The fire was a tough one to fight. Crews called in the third alarm in order to get the extra manpower.
Several fire companies from nearby communities, like West View and Avalon, were also on the scene.
The fire was brought under control around 7:40 a.m.
The home is a total loss. It’s unclear what started the fire, but investigators suspect it began in the basement.