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Fire destroys North Huntingdon dry-cleaning business

| Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, 12:02 a.m.
Ronald Vezzani Jr.| for the Tribune Review Firefighters from fire departments in Westmoreland and Allegheny county attempt to extinguish a fire at the Joseph Krow dry cleaning company at 11055 Parker Drive in North Huntingdon Township Sunday evening.
Ronald Vezzani Jr.| for the Tribune Review Firefighters from fire departments in Westmoreland and Allegheny county attempt to extinguish a fire at The Joseph Krow dry cleaning company at 11055 Parker Drive in North Huntingdon Township Sunday evening.
LIZ ZEMBA I TRIBUNE-REVIEW Firefighters battle a blaze at the Joseph Krow Co. dry-cleaning facility in North Huntingdon on Sunday evening.

A blaze broke out Sunday night at a North Huntingdon dry-cleaning business, threatening a business that employs 150 workers.

Heavy smoke billowed from the warehouse on Parker Drive as firefighters used hoses to douse the fire from ladder trucks and multiple locations around the perimeter of the building.

Firefighters were called to the building at about 8:20 p.m.

The building's owner, David Rosenblatt of Mt. Lebanon, said the metal-sided building housed two businesses, ImageFIRST and Joseph Krow Co. Rosenblatt is the owner of ImageFIRST, which he said obtains orders for Joseph Krow.

Joseph Krow, Rosenblatt said, provides laundry and dry-cleaning services for hospitals and health care facilities in the area.

“I'm ruined,” he said. “A lot of hospitals depend on me to deliver sheets and scrubs. I'm going to lose the business.”

Rosenblatt said the facility processes 40,000 pounds of linens per week. He estimated 150 employees work in the building.

He said no one should have been in the building at the time of the blaze, because workers' shift ended at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Hospitals that have their linens cleaned in the facility include UPMC, West Penn Allegheny and several of the Excela Health hospitals in Westmoreland County.

Rosenblatt said he had no idea what could have sparked the fire, other than possibly chemicals used in the dry-cleaning business.

“For something of this magnitude, it doesn't make any sense,” he said.

Westmoreland County Hazmat Team was on the scene, along with at least a dozen fire departments.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at lzemba@tribweb.com or 412-601-2166.

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