Homeowner says electrical wires sparked Spring Hill house fire that knocked out power to hundreds

PITTSBURGH — A devastating fire tore through a home Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh’s Spring Hill neighborhood, knocking out power to 500 homes in the area.

“Booms and sparks. I opened the front door and everything was on fire,” said homeowner Anna Smith.

PHOTOS: Massive flames rip through house in Pittsburgh neighborhood

Sparking power lines sent colorful flashes of green and purple into the air in front of the fully engulfed home near the intersection of Luella and Heim Streets in Pittsburgh’s Spring Hill neighborhood around 3:20 p.m.

“I couldn’t get out. I was getting shocked when I touched the screen door,” Smith said.

Smith told Channel 11 she was home alone.

Firefighters had to help her out of the house.

She says she saw electrical wires on the roof and believes that’s what started the fire.

“I heard a spark and a big loud noise,” Smith said.  “The porch was on fire. The lines were flying.”

Firefighters were not able to begin dousing the house with water until about 45 minutes after the fire started, forced to wait for Duquesne Light to turn the power off.

In that time, Smith says she lost everything.

“Everything. Every single thing. Even my purse and my car key,” Smith said.

She also fears she lost some or all of her seven cats.

“I rescue cats, feral cats, I’m in a city program. I take care of them. I have seven of my own,” Smith said. “I lost my cats. Period. And everything on my back.”

Fire investigators are still working to officially determine the cause of the fire.

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