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Fire Chief: Vacant House Fire In Duquesne Considered Suspicious

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DUQUESNE (KDKA) -- Fire crews had to deal with the gusty winds early Monday morning as they battled what they are now investigating as a suspicious house fire in Duquesne.

The blaze started around 4:30 a.m. at a vacant home along Priscilla Avenue, near the intersection with Auriles Street.

"Empty houses, with no power, don't just go up by themselves," said City of Duquesne Fire Chief Frank Cobb.

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(Source: City of Duquesne Police Department/Facebook)

Flames were seen shooting out of the back of the abandoned home. Smoke was billowing at a fast rate of speed thanks to the strong winds.

Investigators are calling this fire suspicious.

"The wind was not in our favor," said Chief Cobb. "When we arrived on scene, the house was fully involved. Heavy embers flying from the house, endangering the structure next to it."

Firefighters poured water on the roof of a neighboring house to prevent it from catching fire.

Rev. Christina Reed was home when that was happening.

"I just thank God. It could've been worse. Had that not sprayed, had the embers caught fire, been two tragedies," said Payne Chapel AME Church Rev. Reed.

In addition to the strong winds, the freezing cold temperatures iced over the surrounding streets. Firefighters threw salt down to make sure the roads weren't hazardous. There were also some other issues.

"We also had some water issus with a couple hydrants. We finally adapted and overcame," said Chief Cobb.

For Rev. Reed, she's just counting her blessings the outcome for the community wasn't much worse.

"Just thank God nobody was hurt over there, over here, the street was safe, the church is safe, people are safe. My neighbors are safe, so God is good," said Rev. Reed.

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