4 firefighters hurt, people evacuated as large fire burned in Pittsburgh neighborhood

PITTSBURGH — Multiple crews battled a large house fire Sunday night in Pittsburgh’s South Side Slopes neighborhood, leaving people without a place to stay.

According to officials, the fire started around 8 p.m. on Mt. Oliver Street and quickly engulfed the entire side of the structure.

Channel 11 crews could see flames shooting out of the roof and side of the house, and officials said neighboring homes were evacuated to keep residents safe from potential spread.

“I just see this big plume of smoke coming up over and into our area. Then, within seconds, you start hearing the sirens coming up over the bridges and hills and such,” neighbor Alex Cahill said.

The fire reached three alarms, and four firefighters were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries sustained while battling the flames. One of the firefighters suffered a minor burn, a second firefighter was cut and two other firefighters suffered shoulder injuries. They were all taken to a hospital for treatment.

“Any time we have a firefighter injury, especially inside a building, that’s going to cause us to hit the reset button for a second to make sure our crews are safe,” Pittsburgh Assistant Fire Chief Brian Kokkila.

It’s unclear how the fire started, and safety officials told Channel 11 there were two collapses in the back of the house. That is where most of the damage is.

A mayday was called at one point until all the firefighters were safely accounted for, officials said.

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Fire officials said two neighboring buildings were severely damaged due to water and smoke. They also said they encountered a problem with fire hydrants.

Luckily, everyone inside the house and neighboring buildings made it out safely.

The Red Cross is helping people who were displaced from the house that burned, as well as the two buildings that were damaged by smoke and water.