PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — At least one person died in a house fire Tuesday afternoon in Homewood, and now police are investigating the cause.
According to the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department, the fire started at a two-story home in the 1400 block of North Homewood Avenue around 12:40 p.m.
Police, firefighters and EMS crews rushed to the scene after reports that someone was on fire inside the home. Crews then found the victim near a first-floor stairwell, officials said.
“We try to protect the body as much as possible, we still have a job to put out the fire, too. It’s a delicate situation to protect the body and to try to extinguish the fire,” Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Acting Deputy Chief Doug Praskovich said.
The victim has not yet been identified. Police aren’t saying if it’s a man or woman, or if the person died in the fire or was dead when crews arrived.
“I’m not sure exactly what happened yet. There was a lot of debris still from the fire,” said Acting Deputy Chief Praskovich.
KDKA’s Brenda Waters Reports:
Officials with the Public Safety Department say investigators believe the blaze may have started on the first floor and then spread to the second floor and attic.
Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said in a press release: “Any time you have a tragedy like this, it’s always disturbing. It was a very stubborn fire. The fire was up in the attic and it took a lot of work for the firefighters to extinguish it. Between the firefighters and police and medics, it was another good job. But it’s unfortunate there was a loss of life.”
No firefighters were injured while fighting the fire.
However, a neighboring home was damaged and the person living inside was rescued. She was given oxygen and now the Red Cross is helping her out.
A dog was also treated for smoke inhalation.
Police and fire officials are investigating the cause of the blaze, while homicide detectives are probing the victim’s death.