Allegheny County

Family escapes before explosion, large fire engulfs multiple homes in Allegheny Co.

EAST DEER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Firefighters struggled to put out a fire in East Deer Township that damaged at least three homes.

The fire began Friday morning around 11:30 in the 400 block of Freeport Road and took at least two hours to contain.

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According to our news partners at, the driver of a pickup truck crashed into several parked cars then hit a gas meter outside one of the homes, which caused it to go up in flames.

By the time firefighters arrived, the house was engulfed.

Police at the scene told Channel 11′s Aaron Martin that a man, his pregnant fiancee and her four children were in the home that was destroyed but they were able to escape safely. However, the family said they lost two cats in the fire.

That man, Aaron Ciccanti, said he was resting after working the midnight shift when he heard the explosion.

“I came out of the bedroom after I heard the explosion and I look outside and see the truck was smashed into our porch engulfed in flames," he said.

Ciccanti ran downstairs to get his fiancee and the four kids -- all under the age of eight. He knew they only had seconds to get out of the house. Ciccanti said it all happened within 50-55 seconds, and the flames already hit the dining room.

Smoke started to fill downstairs, so they ran to the backdoor.

“What happened was an absolute tragedy but also an act of God that we were able to make it out alive," said Ciccanti.

Allegheny County officials said there is a Comcast phone outage due to the fire, as flames burned through their fiber cables. It’s only affecting landline customers, so anyone affected is asked to use their cellphones if possible during the outage.


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