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Firefighter Injured In Blaze that Destroyed Three Homes

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via YellowBrix

May 17, 2010

TROY, PA – Two Troy Hill families lost their homes to fire this morning after a vacant dwelling between them burned to the ground.

One Pittsburgh firefighter was injured when he slipped while climbing from a ladder onto the railing a 20-foot-high deck at the rear of one of the properties. The man, who has not yet been identified, may have injured or broken a rib or two, said fire bureau Battalion Chief Frank Large.

The fire was reported at 6:01 a.m. at a vacant, 2 1/2-story house in the 1800 block of Elbow Street, a tiny alley one block off Lowrie Street.

One Lowrie Street resident said she saw smoke coming from the scene as early as 5:30 a.m.

Chief Large said the upper floors of the vacant house already were consumed by flames when firefighters arrived. The blaze quickly spread to two adjacent houses.

All three houses were destroyed.

The family from one was not at home at the time.

A woman and her son got out safely with their pet dog from the other, Chief Large said.

He said the cause is being probed by arson investigators, and it had not been determined this morning.

Firefighters have responded to a number of calls at the vacant home, which has been unoccupied for some time, Chief Large. None of the previous fires was as damaging as today’s. In at least one instance, neighbors extinguished a suspicious fire before firefighters arrived.

Chief Large said firefighters had no chance to save the three houses today. They had to battle tight streets to maneuver their equipment close enough to fire hydrants.

All three structures likely will be torn down, Chief Large said.

Traffic was blocked for most of the morning in that section of Troy Hill as police closed off the busy intersection where Lowrie, Ley and Froman streets meet.

The streets were reopened just before 10 a.m.


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