PITTSBURGH — An intense fire broke out just before 4:30 Thursday morning at a home along Kennedy Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Perry South neighborhood.
“We were sleeping and then the next thing you know we heard a big, huge explosion. It sounded like something busted through a window,” Jasmine Archibald recounted.
She said the blaze began on the first story of her home while she, her significant other, and her 13-year-old son slept upstairs.
“We tried to go down the steps and my whole downstairs was already engulfed in flames,” Archibald explained.
She called 911, but instead of waiting for first responders, the family went out an upstairs window and jumped from their porch’s roof.
“If we would’ve waited, it would’ve been over, so we just jumped,” said Archibald. “It was instinct to jump.”
They were later checked by medics at the scene and are OK.
Meanwhile, the flames spread quickly to the homes on either side.
Shalena Lewis was working the overnight shift from the home next door. She sprang into action, waking her husband, their two kids, and her sick mother before leading them all to safety.
“The flames were coming towards my house and I was like I got to get my family out,” said Lewis. “It was very scary.”
Though most of their possessions are destroyed, Lewis is grateful for her family’s safety.
“We almost lost our lives, so I’m glad we’re still here, but it’s just so tragic. I have nothing, nothing at all in my purse. I don’t have no ID. I have nothing. I lived here for 15 years, and it’s all gone,” Archibald said.
Fire officials said no one was injured in the massive four-alarm fire.
Cleanup is expected to take several days or weeks.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Officials said at least one home is a total loss, but a final damage estimate has not yet been determined.
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