5-year-old boy killed in Mt. Oliver house fire
A young boy died in a house fire in Mt. Oliver late Wednesday afternoon, Allegheny County officials said.
The blaze was reported at 4:40 p.m. at a dwelling in the 300 block of Anthony Street.
Matt Brown, chief of emergency services for Allegheny County, said police officers and firefighters arrived on the scene within minutes and were met with heavy smoke and flames.
He said first responders made multiple attempts to enter the burning home but were forced back by extreme heat and smoke.
“Very early on, there were reports of someone trapped on the second floor,” he said. “Police, fire and EMS on scene made multiple attempts to enter until the first fire crew could be established to make entry. They made entry to the second floor, and did unfortunately find one victim.”
Police arrived within a minute and a half of the 911 dispatch call, and firefighters arrived within two to three minutes, Brown said. He said the first fire truck arrived within seven minutes.
Brown couldn’t say how quickly crews were able to put the fire out. He said initial responders went inside focused on a rescue because there were multiple reports of someone trapped.
He said crews were able to get the child out of the building.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner identified the child Thursday morning as Aiden Moore, 5. The cause of death is injury caused by smoke and fire. The manner of death is accidental.
Channel 11 following heartbreaking news. Reports that a child was pulled from the house. We’re working to confirm the child’s condition pic.twitter.com/DN9eaDckHt
— Lisa Sylvester (@LisaSylvester) June 13, 2018
Tragic update… I spoke to a man who lives near where the fire happened and he tells me he saw crews pull a small body from the house fire in Mt. Oliver. We’re working to find out more. @WPXI
— Lindsay Ward WPXI (@LindsayWardTV) June 13, 2018
Allegheny County fire marshals are investigating the cause of the blaze and where it started.
“We’re at the early stages of that,” Brown said. “No possible idea as to what the cause is as of yet, but we don’t see anything suspicious at this time.”
Brown couldn’t say whether anyone else was in the home when the fire broke out, nor could he say whether the child was home alone.
“I do know there were family on scene,” he said.
Multiple agencies assisted the Mt. Oliver firefighters in battling the three-alarm blaze, including the city of Pittsburgh.
Brown said the humidity proved to be challenging for firefighters.
“They’re very hot, they’re having to rotate quite frequently, and unfortunately in this business, they’re working off of adrenaline to some degree,” he said. “We have concern of when they start to come down off of that adrenaline. They were rotating crews I’m sure at a much faster pace than they would on a normal, average day. It was very challenging.”
Initial reports indicated that multiple police officers and firefighters suffered smoke inhalation, but no one was taken to a hospital, Brown said.
“As far as I know, they were all treated at the scene and refused any transport” to hospitals, he said.
Brown said the first responders attempting to make quick access to the house and doing everything they could to get inside likely led to the cases of smoke inhalation.
Brown said it’s difficult for first responders when someone dies in an incident such as this. He said a critical incident stress debriefing was planned for personnel Wednesday evening.
Officials have also reached out to the rescue workers to let them know assistance will be available for them, he said.
“It’s necessary,” Brown said. “I’ve been through it many times in my career, as well, and we want to make sure that they get that care.”
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4702, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib. Nate Smallwood is a Tribune-Review staff photographer.