Home, 2 dogs lost in quick-moving Mt. Washington fire
Susan Anderson's kitchen cupboards caught fire on Sunday morning while she was cooking potatoes, and the fast-moving blaze destroyed her Mt. Washington home and extensively damaged two nearby houses.
Anderson ran upstairs to alert her son, Lucas Palumbi, 30. Both escaped safely from the home in the 400 block of Kambach Street, as did everyone who was at home at the other residences — but Anderson lost her two beloved miniature dachshunds.
“The cabinets were burning,” said Anderson, 60, watching with tears as firefighters finished extinguishing the charred house where she had lived since 1976.
“I went to get my son, and call 911 and get the dogs. The dogs didn't make it,” she said. “We went outside, and we couldn't get back in. The smoke was too bad.”
Anderson's brother George said the dachshunds, Riley and Winnie, “were like her grandkids. That's what she lived for, those dogs.”
George Anderson of New Bethlehem said he and his sister, a registered nurse with Mercy Behavioral Health, own the house.
He was in Pittsburgh for a weekend event with friends when he learned of the fire and went to Kambach Street to help his sister and nephew, a pharmacy technician.
What remains of the Andersons' house will have to be torn down, Pittsburgh Deputy Fire Chief Dan Hennessy said. The fire was reported shortly after 10 a.m., and firefighters found heavy smoke and flames visible from the front and back of the first floor when they arrived.
It took 90 minutes to get the fire under control, he said, and the houses that sit close to each side of the Andersons' sustained substantial damage. An arson investigator will study the house where the blaze broke out, which is routine, Hennessy said.
Getting firetrucks and hoses to the scene was a challenge because of the narrow streets, and cars parked up to the corners, authorities and neighbors said. George Anderson said firefighters had a similar problem several years ago when another house in the neighborhood burned.
Police and firefighters cut off access to sections of several streets around the scene.
Jeff Rosso, who rents one of the damaged houses with four other Duquesne University students, was getting ready to go to work around 10:15 when he heard a smoke alarm, then saw flames next door.
He said he rushed to get his three roommates who were home out of their house.
Firefighters returned to Kambach Street in the afternoon for reports that the fire had rekindled.
The Red Cross helped the Andersons with food, clothing and shelter.
Kim Leonard is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5606 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ferrante trial: Cyanide order form in plain sight
- Film Office announces two Downtown road closures Monday
- Wilkinsburg couple arrested after baby girl dies following beating
- State’s ‘public-private’ transportation deal will replace 53 bridges in Allegheny County
- Rail maintenance in Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel to cause bus detours Saturday morning
- Port Authority steps closer to linking Oakland and Downtown, makes switch from Highmark to Aetna
- Howard Hanna family donates $1M for business student scholarships at University of Pittsburgh
- PennDOT warns of delays next week on Butler Street near Highland Park Bridge
- Bridge work to close Cliff Mine Road this weekend
- Man shot, killed after leaving West End bar early Friday
- Newsmaker: Stephen J. Bagnato Jr.