PITTSBURGH - Investigators are working to figure out what started a fire at an old East Liberty church Wednesday morning.
Authorities said a man who works near Saint Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church on Larimer Avenue noticed the smoke about 7 a.m. and called 911.
“I looked out of our window and I could see a cross. There was something red on the inside of the windows, and I didn’t think it was a fire. I just thought it was the glare of the sun,” Brian Watson said.
Fire Battalion Chief Robert Cox said they’ve been called to several fires at the church before, and he said the fire may have been started by a group of homeless people.
“We’ve had multiple fires in the building,” Cox said. “The city does a good job of boarding it up after we leave, but people get in.”
Cox said there was a burned area of about 30 feet through the floor. He did not have an estimate on the damage.
“Firefighters had a hard time getting in through the front door, so they went into the side and a whole lot of smoke was coming from the back,” witness Brad Cuspard said.
No one was inside the church when firefighters arrived, and no injuries were reported.
Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.