By Brenda Waters – KDKA
SOUTH OAKLAND (KDKA)- Fire crews had their hands full with a quick-moving fire in South Oakland Friday morning.
The fire started around 2:30 a.m. at a home on Orpwood Street, near the intersection with Parkview Ave.
Neighbors tell us that the two homes are used as apartments for students at nearby colleges like Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University.
Those students watched as flames lit up the Oakland sky, as firefighters battled what seemed like never-ending flames.
Fire fully engulfed one home and by the time firefighters got on scene, a second home caught fire too.
Only two charred frames were left by Friday morning.
“Officer said get out of the house, go out your back door, like a dummy I opened the front door and it was an orange, big ball of fire, just coming this way. Me, my wife and my son went out the back door real quick,” said neighbor Tom Sweeney.
Douglas Stewart says that a man owned both homes, and rented them out.
“So he bought the house on the left, completely renovated it, did a good job, and started renting it out. So for about eight or 10 years it’s been rentals for students,” said Stewart.
He went on to say, “he was extremely diligent, he grew up in a family of concrete masons, so he knew construction well, he appeared to be extremely responsible, so I’m surprised by the fire.”
Firefighters had to block off streets in the area while crews continue to knock down the flames.
No injuries were reported.
The Red Cross is assisting seven adults with food, clothing and shelter.