Man, kids escape house fire believed caused by candle



PITTSBURGH - Firefighters were called to Pittsburgh’s North Side early Thursday to battle a two-alarm blaze.

The flames were reported at a home on Knoll Street just before 4 a.m.

When Channel 11 News arrived at the scene, smoke was billowing from the second and third floors of the home. A father, his two children and their two dogs were able to escape.

A close friend of the father said the man just completed a year’s worth of home improvement projects.

Officials said they also evacuated neighboring homes as a precaution.

“I woke up to the commotion and screaming,” said neighbor Russ Stratton.

Julian Carpenter, 19-year-old man who lives nearby, said he awoke from his sleep to the smell of intense smoke.

“It took me a second because I had to check and see if it was my house. I went outside to see if it was anyone else’s house,” the man said.

Stratton said he and his neighbors help each other when they’re down, and this will be no different.

“He’s been a savior to my family. He’s helped us in the past and I want to make sure whatever help we can give we’ll give him,” Stratton said.

Investigators told Channel 11 News the fire is being ruled an accident. They said a candle was left burning in a second floor bedroom.