Firefighters battle potentially deadly house fire in Penn Hills

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PENN HILLS, Pa. - Firefighters battled a very dangerous house fire Tuesday morning in Penn Hills.

The homeowner called 911 to alert them of the flames at his Valemont Street house just before 9 a.m., and Penn Hills fire Chief John Capone said he warned the dispatcher about tanks of Freon in his backyard.

“You could tell the fire was under high pressure back there. The bottles were blowing out causing extra concerns,” Capone said.

Firefighters weren’t allowed near the blaze without oxygen masks because of the Freon tanks.

“It’s very deadly. Once the Freon gets super-heated it turns into a different gas that’s definitely deadly,” Capone said.

Neighbors told Channel 11’s Cara Sapida that they heard the tanks exploding.

“The Freon was exploding -- he had tanks of Freon in there,” one neighbor said.

The cause of the blaze, which destroyed the home, remains under investigation. No injuries were reported.