Fire gutted two homes in Monessen and nearly took out two more; KDKA's Ross Guidotti reports.
KRISTINE SORENSEN: Fire gutted two homes in Monessen this morning and nearly took out two more. Investigators are still trying to determine what started the fire.
KEN RICE: It was a tough one for firefighters in more ways than one. Ross Guidotti joins us now to explain. Ross.
ROSS GUIDOTTI: Yeah. The problem was, this fire got a pretty good start, and wind made matters worse for already exhausted firefighters.
It was about 10:00 this morning when heavy flames erupted in the 600 block of 9th Street in Monessen, pouring black smoke into the sky.
- My goal was a fire stop with the yellow house.
ROSS GUIDOTTI: Flames, however quickly spread, claiming yet another home.
- The yellow one you're looking at, 639 9th Street, is under renovation. 641 has been vacant for years.
ROSS GUIDOTTI: Making matters worse, firefighters found themselves attacking a fire being fed by an invisible assistant.
- The wind kept stirring it up a little bit. We thought we'd had it out a couple times, and the wind would flare up something.
ROSS GUIDOTTI: This incident is just the latest in a string of fires in Monessen.
- Busy? That's an understatement.
ROSS GUIDOTTI: Despite that, Monessen's fire chief says, all things considered.
- My guys are getting a little worn down. But, you know, the thing is, you have them during the morning, noon, and night. So you don't have that time to rest.
ROSS GUIDOTTI: Just to give this some perspective as far as fires, the street I'm standing on, 9th Street, just in the 600 block, had a fire on this side of the street a year ago. Now, these two homes have caught on fire. A home up the street also caught on fire. The fire chief says he just wants some kind of break, and that's understandable. The cause of this fire remains under investigation. In Monessen, Ross Guidotti, KDKA News.