By Ralph Iannotti

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MCKEES ROCKS, Pa. (KDKA) – Several houses were damaged by fire in McKees Rocks on Wednesday night.

It started in one and quickly spread to the houses next door.

Photo Credit: Dennis Lane/KDKA

It was around 7:30 p.m. when fire broke out in the rear first floor of a wood frame house at 224 Munson Avenue. The four alarm fire destroyed that home, and damaged two others, one substantially.

Homeowner Martin Culligan told KDKA News, “I was in the living room, my daughter was in the kitchen. She said the side room, just off the kitchen, was on fire. How or why, I have no idea because there was nobody in there.”

One of the major challenges for firefighters was to keep the flames from spreading to nearby homes, many of them were built a century ago.

McKees Rocks Fire Chief Nick Radoycis, Jr. said, “They’ve been remodeled, so sometimes there’s not access to the other side of the building. The wood frame buildings are so old, they go up really fast, as happened here. Once that fire started to roll, our concern was to keep the fire from spreading to neighboring buildings on both sides. As you can see, they are only about 4 ½ to 5-feet apart.”

Ironically, the fire chief said he lives just down the street from the fire.

Ralph Iannotti