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Firefighters extinguish house fire in Dormont, no one hurt

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 10:39 a.m.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Firefighters from at least seven departments assist Dormont firefighters with a house fire on Pinehurst Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. The two-story brick house was decorated for Halloween.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Kevin Maehling (center), deputy chief of the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department, and Pleasant Hills firefighters were among at least seven departments assisting Dormont firefighters with a house fire on Pinehurst Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. The two-story brick house was decorated for Halloween.

Firefighters salvaged what they could from a house in Dormont damaged by fire and smoke on Wednesday.

Navigating a porch cluttered with pumpkins, cages, skeletons and other Halloween decorations, firefighters carried out armloads of family photos and a sofa.

No one was home when the blaze started just before 9:30 a.m. at the two-story brick house on Pinehurst Avenue. Neighbors saw flames and smoke pour out of large second-story windows.

“I heard something go ‘pop.' I could smell it. Then the windows busted,” said Reggie Johnson, 36, a next-door neighbor.

Johnson ran to the front door, found it locked and rushed to the back of the house. He saved the family's three dogs and one of their two birds.

A tearful and distraught Rose Helf, who lived in the house, said she is grateful her neighbor got the animals out in time. She sat on a neighbor's porch in disbelief as firefighters sprayed water through her windows.

The Allegheny County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, said Dormont fire Deputy Chief Jim Kolesky. It appears to have started in a second-floor room.

Flames damaged a house next door.

At least seven fire departments responded and brought the blaze under control by 10:30 a.m. No one was injured.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7986 or aaupperlee@tribweb.com.

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