TURTLE CREEK (KDKA) — Several people are left without a home tonight after a fire ripped through an apartment building on a cold Sunday morning.
Firefighters said it started around 10:00 a.m. in the 100 block of Watson Drive.
“Over the years, we’ve been pretty lucky. We’ve had a few fires here, but nothing real major,” Turtle Creek’s Assistant Fire Chief Jack Osman said.
Cell phone video from neighbors showed flames coming out of the second floor window of the apartment.
Daniel Murray lives in the apartment next door to the blaze.
“The smoke just kept pouring out of the roof and everything and the firemen came here and said you have to get out,” he said.
Fire officials said four people were in the apartment: two adults and two kids, and they all made it out safe. All four apartments had to be evacuated as a precaution.
According to first responders, no one was injured.
Several fire companies came to the scene in case the fire got out of hand. The building has an open attic from one end to the other.
“A situation like this, you have to call in quite a bit,” Fire Chief Osman said. “You never know what is going to happen.”
“They were tearing out the window and everything out. It was chaos,” Murray said.
Crews took about 10 to 15 minutes to get the fire under control. One of their toughest challenges was just trying to get there on the narrow street.
“You have trouble trying to get the things where you need them,” Osman said at the scene.
He credits the old construction of the building for containing the fire to one apartment.
Murray told KDKA that his neighbor, who lived in the apartment that caught fire, told him it all started when a cat knocked over a lamp in the upstairs.
“When the lamp fell, it ignited the mattress, and it just took off from there,” he said while he was evacuated from his apartment.
The official cause is still under investigation by the Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s Office.