By Brian Bowling – photo by Andrew Russell – Trib Total Media
Sitting on a doorstep across the street from his burning home in Swissvale, Larry Knox said he was glad everyone got safely out of the three-story apartment building.
“Thank God, I’m out of there,” said Knox, who is visually impaired. “This young man named James on the second floor came and got me.”
Two firefighters suffered injuries while battling the four-alarm blaze on Saturday in the 2000 block of Monongahela Avenue, said fire Chief Clyde Wilhelm. He said he had no reports of any residents being injured.
Firefighters thought at first they had a roof fire, Wilhelm said. As it turned out, the blaze probably started on the second floor but quickly spread through the voids between the exterior and interior walls to the third floor.
An Allegheny County fire marshal is investigating the cause, he said.
One firefighter went by ambulance to UPMC Mercy for treatment of second- and third-degree burns on his neck, Wilhelm said. Emergency medical techs treated the other firefighter at the scene for minor injuries, he said.
Wilhelm asked Duquesne Light Co. to cut power to the neighborhood because high-voltage power lines pass in front of the building and posed a hazard to firefighters, he said.