West View Police arrested the owner of a home at 17 Fairview Ave. Sunday afternoon, hours before the home caught fire.
Police Chief Bruce Fromlak said officers responded to a domestic disturbance call and charged Christopher Lightsey with aggravated assault. He remains in the Allegheny County Jail.
The Allegheny County and West View Fire Marshals are working to determine the cause of the fire, which broke out shortly before 11 p.m. and eventually spread to the home next door at 19 Fairview Ave.
Police say a woman and four children lived in the home where the fire broke out, but the children were not at home at the time. The woman escaped unharmed.
Authorities aren't sure where the fire ignited.
"It looks like it started right there on the porch," said Dave Hunt, who lives next door at 15 Fairview. "The heat was so intense, it cracked the windows on the side of my porch."
The Fire Marshal said it's also possible the fire started inside the home, on the first floor.
The American Red Cross is helping the family. Chief Fromlak said the family members are particularly in need of clothing for the elementary school-aged children, who lost everything.
If you can help, contact the American Red Cross at 412-263-3100.
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