HOMEWOOD (KDKA) — One person died in a house fire in Homewood South early Friday morning.
It happened around 6:30 a.m. at the corner of Fram Street and Alsace Street.
Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones confirmed one man died after getting trapped in a second-floor bedroom.
“First arriving units arrived at 6:35 a.m. and found heavy fire conditions on both the first and the second floor. We were advised that there was one person still entrapped in the building. Rescue efforts were made. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful,” Jones said.
The victim has been identified as 74-year-old Richard Flemming, Sr.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller Reports:
Friends described him as a loving and good man, and they said when the flames broke out, he worried about getting his family out safely.
“Good person, loved his family,” neighbor Lynn Dunscomb said. “From my understanding, he got everybody up and they got out the house, so he saved them all.”
Flemming was a caddy at the Oakmont Country Club for 14 years. The people there also say he will be greatly missed.
“We are just incredibly shocked and saddened, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Devin Gee, Oakmont’s head golf professional, said. “He took the bus to get here, no matter what the weather was like. He was here hot or cold; he was one of our guys who was here year round.”
His co-workers say they considered Flemming family and remember his great personality.
“He had a very positive way about him, everyone just loved being around him and he was a pleasure to be with on the golf course, and you saw that from the golfers who took him on a regular basis,” said Gee.
One of those golfers who took Flemming on often as a caddy during those 14 years is Bernie Marcus.
“I’m 75, and we were soulmates,” said Marcus. “He was just a decent human being, that’s what really made him a super caddy. It’s a tough job, you’re carrying two bags around, a tough course to walk. He did it with the right spirit and always a kind man.”
Two others were injured. One woman suffered superficial burns to the hand, and a man injured his leg after he jumped from a window.
Two dogs also made it out safely.
Nine people have been displaced.
And from Homewood back to the greens of Oakmont, Flemming’s friends say he saw no barriers.
“We are going to miss you Richard, miss you an awful lot,” said Gee.
Jones says the duplex was heavily damaged on both sides — one side damaged by fire, the other by smoke. It’s been deemed a total loss.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.