17 people homeless after fast-spreading McKees Rocks fire
Owners of homes in McKees Rocks damaged by a fast-moving fire returned Thursday to sift through the debris and salvage what they could.
The Wednesday night fire ripped through three homes on Munson Avenue and left 17 people homeless, officials said.
The American Red Cross provided emergency funding to help 10 adults and seven children find temporary lodging, Red Cross spokesman Daniel Tobin said .
Among them were Martin Culligan and Larry Young. The neighbors spent time Thursday walking through their damaged homes. Some stuff they could save. Most of it they couldn’t.
“I moved in in ‘95, so yeah, 23 years of memories in here,” Culligan said. “Lotta stuff.”
Culligan and Young lived next to each other for about two decades. The two had cookouts together, sharing food and beer.
Now, they didn’t know where they would live, let alone if they would be able to get together this coming summer.
Young expected his house to be knocked down and bulldozed.
“I mean, what can we do?” Young said. “It’s like a dream. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. All I wanna do is get some rest, but I know I’m not gonna get none.”
The Red Cross gave the three households some food and clothing.
“We provide emergency relief,” Tobin said. “It’s enough to get through those first few days, and then every situation is different. For some people, insurance kicks in, for others, they find other means. And others, we work with them to help get them housing placements.”
No one was injured in the fire.
Allegheny County 911 dispatchers received a report of the fire on the 200 block of Munson Avenue about 7:25 p.m. Wednesday. Initial reports indicated that the flames began in a two-story home, then quickly grew to a four-alarm fire threatening neighboring homes. The houses on the street are only about 4 or 5 feet apart.
One house was destroyed and two others were severely damaged and deemed uninhabitable.
McKees Rocks fire officials were not immediately available to provide updates.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .