Family displaced after fire rips through home in Pittsburgh

Kim J. Clark

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A two-alarm fire broke out at a home in Pittsburgh’s West Oakland neighborhood.

Flames engulfed a townhome in Terrace Village on Wednesday. No one inside the home was injured, but two responding firefighters suffered minor injuries. 

Flames engulfed a townhome in Terrace Village in Pittsburgh on June 1, 2022.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The townhome has two units. No one was in the top unit, but 78-year-old Collie Russell was in her living room watching TV when the smoke alarm went off. 

“I saw all this fire shoot up and I panicked and started screaming, ‘Help, help, I need help.’ So all the sudden, this black smoke came through the house and some gentleman from somewhere came and helped me out because I thought I was going to pass out.”

She got out and is going to be OK. One firefighter had a cut on his hand while a second firefighter suffered a knee injury. 

Pittsburgh Public Safety said the fire started in the back of the first floor and then spread. Crews had to cut into the roof to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring homes.

Russell’s son, Edward, was on his way home when he saw the flames.

“I tried to get here as fast as I can,” he said. “I’m just glad they got my mom out of there. All of her medicine is gone, all of my belongings are gone, but God is going to take care of us.”

Collie is not sure how the fire started, but Edward said work was being done on the house. The family now has to find a new place to stay.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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