2 women, 4-year-old die in Homewood house fire
Three people — two women and a 4-year-old girl — died in a house fire in Pittsburgh’s Homewood South neighborhood early Wednesday.
Police officers on routine patrol discovered the fire on Bennett Street about 2:20 a.m., according to the city’s Department of Public Safety. The house was engulfed in flames.
A man was on the roof of a two-story structure next to the three-story house, authorities said. He suffered a leg injury when he jumped to safety. He was taken to a hospital and was in stable condition, authorities said.
The two women and the child were found dead inside the house.
Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones told the Trib’s news partner, WPXI-TV, that the fire spread quickly and was difficult to put out.
“The fire traveled so fast that the people didn’t have time to call 911 themselves — that it’s noticed by police officers on routine patrol, it’s difficult to understand how that can happen,” Jones said.
He said investigators will work to determine whether smoke detectors were in the home.
The fire was brought under control around 4 a.m.
“Fires this time of year are especially hard, especially for the first responders that arrive,” Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said. “Firefighters and medics are obviously somewhat shaken up regarding this, especially with a potential infant or a child involved in the fire.”
Carla Smith, a Westmoreland County resident who owns a home that she plans to convert into a store two doors away from the fire, received a call from her niece about the fire near her property. She drove to the scene in her pajamas, fearing her property might be damaged.
“The house was already completely destroyed by the time I arrived,” Smith said. “I’m saddened. I’m heartbroken just to know that anybody perished in this fire. I see those people, I don’t know them, but I see them all the time. They were always laughing on the porch and having a good time.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer and Ben Schmitt are Tribune-Review staff writers.
More From Carla Smith. She lives in Westmoreland County but owns a home near the fire scene in Homewood pic.twitter.com/Oes4Nnimyg
— Ben Schmitt (@bencschmitt) December 20, 2017