Two others inside were hurt, and a neighboring house had its roof ignite.
One person died and two were hospitalized after a quick-moving fire consumed an Uptown duplex and damaged a neighboring building along Bryant Avenue S. early Wednesday.
The victims' names were not immediately available, but a neighbor believed they were the residents on the top floor of the 2 1/2-story home at 3317 Bryant Av. S.
Hattie Peterson said she heard a loud pop and woke to find the neighboring duplex on fire. Firefighters were taking people out of the blaze on stretchers, she said. The blaze jumped to Peterson's building at 3315 Bryant Av. S., melting away siding and igniting the roof before firefighters brought the blaze under control.
The occupants of all four units in Peterson's building were forced to move out because of smoke and fire damage.
The blaze broke out at 5:15 a.m., and heavy fire was showing on the first and second floors by the time fire crews arrived, Assistant Fire Chief Cherie Penn said, but firefighters "went in anyway" and rescued the occupants. Witness Kevin Asher, whose Colfax Avenue house is a stone's throw from the fire, said he heard a loud pop, but didn't think anything of it until he heard fire engines swoop into the neighborhood.
"I would bet it was gas, something to do with gas," he said, noting how quickly the house burned.
There was no immediate word on how the blaze started. The house's ruins were demolished.
The Red Cross was called to the scene to assist with those displaced by the fire.
PAUL WALSH AND MATT MCKINNEY