Explosion heard as dump trucks go up in flames at Pittsburgh construction company

PITTSBURGH — Three dump trucks caught fire early Wednesday morning in the parking lot of a construction company in Pittsburgh’s Hays neighborhood.

Intense flames engulfed the trucks at Jadell Construction and sent a large plume of smoke into the sky shortly before 3:30 a.m. along Calera Street.

Neighbor Karrie Kelly’s fiance heard an explosion, which a firefighter said was probably tires popping.

“My fiance came downstairs yelling there was a fire. He heard an explosion, he heard hissing and we looked outside and there was an explosion across the street,” Kelly said.

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Another neighbor called 911 and ran to the shop, knowing there are sometimes workers there overnight. Employee Dave Clark was there Wednesday morning.

“My neighbor came knocking on my door saying, ‘You may want to move.’ Then I come outside. I saw the orange glow in the air and a lot of black smoke, and when I walked around to this part, where I could see in the driveway, I saw there was smoke and fire and the trucks were on fire,” Clark said.

Clark ran toward the fire and moved another truck that was close by.

“Yeah, he did move the trucks so the fire wouldn’t keep spreading from truck to truck to truck,” Kelly said.

No one was hurt, but a worker said there was at least half a million dollars’ worth of damage.

It is unclear what caused the fire, but Pittsburgh’s Fire Investigation Unit is investigating. Officials initially said Wednesday morning that arson investigators were looking into the fire.