Shortly before 4am, City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania firefighters were dispatched to a residential structure fire in the 6900 block of Butler Street in the Morningside section of the city. Minutes later, fire dispatch advised responding units that they were receiving multiple calls and that the fire was located in the 6900 block of Baker Street which runs above Butler Street. Arriving fire units found a brick 7 unit row home with heavy fire in 3 of the units and quickly requested a 2nd alarm.
Several firefighters almost became trapped inside one of the homes. They went in the front door and fire quickly came up the basement steps behind them forcing them to escape out of the back of the building. Firefighters were then forced to abandon all interior operations and 2 additional alarms were quickly requested soon after.
Due to the nature of where the homes were located, being build on the side of a cliff over looking the Allegheny River, firefighters were unable to gain access to the rear of the building. The fire raged out of control for close to 4 hours while it ran through a common roof and consumed all 7 homes. The fire was finally placed under control sometime around 7:30am but fire crews stayed on the scene for almost 24 hours trying to extinguish hot spots.
14 people lost everything in the fire but managed to escape without injuries. The Red Cross is assisting the 14 people affected by the massive fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but early reports say the fire may have started from a space heater located in the basement of one of the homes. The city building inspector has ruled the buildings' a total loss and will be demolished.