PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Friday was a busy morning for first responders, having to battle two fires in the same neighborhood.
Overnight, two fires broke out in Beltzhoover within hours of one another.
Just after 1:15 a.m., an unoccupied home in the 400 block of Beltzhoover Avenue became fully engulfed in flames, spreading to a home next door.
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Both of those homes were considered a total loss.
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The fire then spread to a third home, which firefighters attempted to save. However, the fire displaced four adults who are now being assisted by the Red Cross.
That fire was considered under control just before 3:00 a.m.
Meanwhile, just a few blocks away on Freeland Street at Estella Street, another unoccupied house caught fire along with several tall trees.
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That fire was also under control before 3:00 a.m. and a neighboring home did sustain some smoke and water damage.
Here’s what’s left from the fire on Estella Ave and Freeland St.
Officials are investigating the scene.
They believe this fire and the one on Beltzhoover Ave are suspicious.
No injuries reported, however residents are displaced.
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Pittsburgh Police say that both fires are being investigated and are considered suspicious.
“I can tell you these fires are suspicious,” said Pittsburgh Public Safety Public Information Officer Cara Cruz. “The fire investigation unit is on scene, the police are in the area, combing the area. This is a little bit more unusual than the ones we’re at.”
One of the people displaced says she’s just happy to be alive.
“Just to be standing here being able to tell it, it’s a blessing,” Tina Chatman said. “We could be dead, we could’ve died just from the smoke, but thank god we’re still here.”
Harold Davis, who lives next door to the home that went up in flames on Freeland Street, said his next-door neighbors’ home was empty. He added that the couple passed away almost two decades ago, and the city had boarded up the house up.
He believes someone set fire to the house and the other three just a block over on Beltzhoover Avenue.
“It seems like they started that fire. Then made their way through the alley, started this fire, then ghosted,” Davis.
No injuries have been reported in either fire.
Davis’s concern now is if the city doesn’t clean up these abandoned properties, how many more fires could be set?
“Years ago, there was a house here that caught fire the same way and it was empty for a long time,” Davis said.
The residents want the city to address squatters living inside these homes by tearing down the properties.