Around 5:25am on Thanksgiving, Wilkinsburg fire department station 305 was dispatched to 1008 Mifflin Avenue for a possible residential structure fire.
Captain 305 arrived on scene and reported a fire on an outside fire escape located on the rear of the structure. He then advised county dispatch that there might be possible extension into the 2nd floor and at 5:29am requested a 2nd alarm for off duty firefighter to be recalled.
The 305 truck crew was ordered to go to the 3rd floor to check for extension while the engine crew was ordered to mask up and take a hand line in the front door.
Around 5:45am a firefighter mayday was sounded. The firefighter stated he had fallen through the 3rd floor and was trapped on the 2nd floor of the structure. At that time Chief 305 had arrived on scene and requested a 1st alarm assignment from the City of Pittsburgh respond to the scene to assist with locating and rescuing the downed firefighter. It was unknown at this point if there was only one firefighter down or several.
The downed firefighter stated he was trapped somewhere in the rear of the structure on the 2nd floor and had run out of air. Firefighters found him just in time pinned under a refrigerator. He was extricated out of a 2nd floor window and rushed to Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh.
The firefighter reportedly suffered lacerations to the head, 2nd degree burns and some smoke inhalation and was to be released from the hospital later in the day. The fire destroyed the 3rd floor and heavily damaged the 2nd floor.
Several people lived in the home which housed several apartments. Those people are being helped by the American Red Cross.
The cause of the fire is now being investigated by the Allegheny County Fire Marshals office.