By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Fire crews had to battle a three-alarm fire Sunday morning in the city’s Duquesne Heights neighborhood.

It happened in a home that was being remodeled in the 300 block of Meridan Street.

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“It could have easily taken my house down,” next-door neighbor Kim Burns said. “We’re literally six inches away from each other.”

Burns said around 5:30 a.m. she started to smell smoke and checked her house. She wasn’t alone as the smoke started to fill up the block.

“The smoke was in the house,” neighbor Bob Meixner said. “It was so thick.”

He thought his house was on fire until he saw the house across the street.

Burns went to the front door and couldn’t see anything through the white smoke. She went to her back door and saw the flames coming from her neighbor’s house.

“That’s when I screamed to my husband ‘call 911, and it’s next door,’” Burns recounted.

She and her husband took their dog and went to a neighbor’s house, at which point they could hear the fire crews coming after they got the call at 5:43 a.m.

“We are fortunate this single-house fire didn’t take out at least this portion of Meridan Street,” Burns said from her front porch.

Burns said her home had smoke and water damage.

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Public Safety confirmed that the family living there was safely evacuated. A firefighter did fall through the second floor but refused to be transported to the hospital.

According to Pittsburgh Public Safety, the house presented several challenges for fire crews. It sits back farther from the road than several neighbors, so crews had to run more hoses to battle the flames. Another challenge was how close it was to Burn’s home remodeling state.

“It was a very difficult fire due to the fact that the house was being renovated,” said Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich. “There were numerous ceilings within the building so as soon as they thought they had the fire extinguished, it would reignite above where the firefighters were.”

(Photo Credit: Public Safety Media Blotter)

Still, firefighters managed to put the fire out without it spreading to other homes in the neighborhood.

(Photo Credit: Public Safety Media Blotter)

“It was very, very close, probably within a foot of the building that caught fire, that was probably our biggest challenge, ” said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Kokkila. “It is a dangerous job. Scary moment for all of us.”

The Fire Investigation Unit as well as the Bureau of Fire’s accelerant K-9, Dodger, were called to the scene to investigate the cause. Police and Emergency Medical Services were also present to provide support.

(Photo Credit: Public Safety Media Blotter)

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No cause has been released yet.