CP photo: Jared Wickerham
SisTers PGH founder Ciora Thomas inside the organization's Squirrel Hill community center
SisTers PGH, a local nonprofit organization
dedicated to serving trans and non-binary people in the region, is currently without a home after a fire caused significant damage to its community center space at 3948 Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill this morning.
A message posted on the SisTers PGH Facebook page
earlier today reads, “It is with hurt hearts we have to report the building we where leasing as SisTers Drop in space has caught fire this morning in the upstairs apartment SisTers will be closed at this location until further notice! We lost things in our space because of smoke and water damage.”
The message went on to say that the fire was caused by another tenant in the building.
SisTers PGH launched a Facebook emergency fundraising campaign
that has so far received over $700 in donations.
The Department of Public Safety media blotter reports that firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the second floor of the two-story structure, which includes two apartments on the top and two businesses – one occupied, one vacant – on the ground floor, before it was extinguished.
It was also reported that a 29-year-old woman was taken to the hospital after she jumped from a second-floor window to escape the fire and landed on a dump truck. No one else in the apartments or the occupied business was hurt.
The Fire Investigations Unit will investigate the cause of the fire.
The SisTers PGH community center
opened in March 2019 primarily to provide a variety of services to at-risk trans and non-binary people of color, including free meals and help finding housing.
Anyone interested in donating to the SisTers PGH fire fund can do so on Facebook or through the following methods:
Checks mailed to 3948 Murray Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15217
Venmo: SisTers PGH