Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire responded to a 9-1-1 call for a 2-alarm structure fire at 306 Meridan Street in Duquesne Heights at 5:43 a.m. When firefighters arrived on scene there were heavy flames in the rear of the building. The fire quickly escalated to three alarms.
The home was unoccupied, but because it was under renovation it posed some challenges for firefighters. On one side of the structure the second floor was missing, causing one firefighter to fall through to the ground. He was slightly injured, but refused EMS transport to the hospital.
"It was a very difficult fire due to the fact that the house was being renovated," said Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich. In addition to the missing floor, there were additional challenges.
"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," added Hissrich.
Due to the home being set far back from the street, firefighters had to stretch a large amount of hose to extinguish the fire.
Assistant Fire Chief Brian Kokkila said the firefighters did great work keeping the fire from spreading to the adjacent home. The occupants were evacuated from that home for their safety and no one was hurt.
"It was very, very close, probably within a foot of the building that caught fire, that was probably our biggest challenge, " said Kokkila.
Detectives from the Fire Investigations Unit, as well as the Bureau's fire accelerant K-9, Dodger, were on scene to investigate the cause. Police and EMS were on hand for support.
In addition to this fire, Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire responded to a 1-alarm structure fire just before 12:15 a.m at 301 Pensdale Street. No one was hurt. Both fires are under investigation.