Fire at Arnold Towers high rise
No one was injured in a late afternoon fire in a sixth-floor apartment at the Arnold Towers on Horne Boulevard in Arnold.
Resident Joan Smith ushered Della Ricchuito in Apt. 604 from her burning kitchen and smoke-filled apartment.
Ricchuito said she was warming up macaroni and cheese before the fire broke out in her kitchen.
Smith, who lives in an apartment a floor below Ricchuito, told her to leave the apartment.
Ricchuito said, “I was using baking soda to try to put the fire out. She pulled me out.
“I said that I wanted to get my purse and cane and she said, ‘Forget it.' ”
Smith said she heard a thud from Ricchuito's apartment and went up to investigate.
Smith found a smoke-filled apartment and saw that the kitchen cabinets were on fire.
“Della wouldn't come out,” Smith said. “I tried to use the fire extinguisher, but the fire was too big.
“Thank God that I heard that thud,” she said. “We look out for each other here.”
Arnold police Sgt. Mike Krahe was the first on scene shortly after 5:30 p.m.
Police immediately knocked on apartment doors on the sixth floor to evacuate residents.
In Ricchuito's apartment, “the smoke was so thick that you couldn't see,” Krahe said.
Arnold police Chief Willie Weber, a longtime firefighter, entered the apartment and started to knock down the fire.
Firefighters arrived and set up two ladder trucks to access the unit to finish off the fire and work on getting smoke out of the apartment.
Police and firefighters were concerned about the heavy smoke in part of the sixth floor.
About 20 residents were evacuated from the sixth floor, while residents on the other floors could choose to evacuate to the building's community room or stay on their porch, Weber said.
The building's two elevators were shut down during the emergency and police and firefighters escorted some residents down the stairs to reach the first-floor community room.
According to Arnold fire Chief J.C. Tedorski, no one was injured and the blaze is under investigation. Foul play is not suspected.
There are about 120 residents and 125 apartments in the eight-story, public housing high-rise building, according to Tedorski.
Firefighters worked to ventilate the building and had the smoke and other issues cleared up by about 7:30 p.m.
Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2,200 union employees of ATI lose coverage
- November spared Valley effects of wintry weather
- Regoli won’t seek recount in Westmoreland County judge election
- Mentor takes young Brackenridge hunter under his wing
- Shoppers can buy gifts for seniors through Home Instead program
- New Kensington man killed in North Buffalo crash
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison
- Tarentum Bridge falcon defends turf as eagles scout nesting locations
- At-home schooling on snow days far from reality
- Deer Lakes School Board gives $10,000 raise to new Superintendent Logue-Belden
- South Butler students push composting as a way to slow food waste