Child killed, several hurt in McKeesport blaze

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MCKEESPORT, Pa. - A young child was killed in a fire that started Sunday night and spread to three homes in McKeesport early Monday morning.

Authorities said the blaze started about 11:30 p.m. Sunday at the child's home in the 1700 block of Soles Street and then burned houses on either side of that structure.

Channel 11’s Dave Bondy reported another child was severely burned and two firefighters were also hurt while fighting the flames.

“Unfortunately, as of now, a single small child perished in the fire and another was transported to the hospital. Two McKeesport firefighters were treated and released from the hospital for injuries sustained at the fire,” the McKeesport Fire Department wrote on its Facebook page.

Neighbors said they tried to help rescue the trapped child, but the fire was too intense.  

"It's sad as a parent to have a parent go through this," said the child's relative Jackie Dawson.

“It just keeps getting worse and worse. A three-year-old baby was in there and we were trying to get him out. He didn’t make it,” neighbor Ernest Tigney said.

According to McKeesport Fire Chief Kevin Lust, Tigney saved a life.

"It was a cousin that tried to go back in and a neighbor sat there and ran up and got him before he went back, the neighbor tried to return into it and he couldn't get back onto the porch,” Lust said.

Officials said five children and a woman were inside the house when the fire started. The mother of the child who died is visiting family in Florida, and it was her aunt who was watching everyone.

The house where the fire started collapsed, while the neighboring homes were heavily damaged. A fourth home sustained smoke and water damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.