4 businesses rebound from Cheswick fire
Three months after a fire displaced four Cheswick companies in a building at 110 Cheswick Ave., it's business as usual.
James Desmone, Cheswick's zoning and code enforcement officer, said the four businesses are back in operation, with two remaining in Cheswick and two operating in New Kensington. The damaged building will be partly razed and the remaining portion will be renovated for future tenants, Desmone said.
The Sept. 17 fire displaced Filter Service & Installation, whose employees clean kitchen exhaust systems, grease traps, restaurant equipment and laundry ducts; Best Air Systems, which deals in grease filters for restaurants, air filters for HVAC systems, filtration for body shop paint booths and smoke eaters; Professional Mechanical Sales and Service (Pro-Mech), which deals in refrigeration and heating, ventilating and air conditioning; and 1st Fire Protection, which deals in fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers and sprinklers.
Ed Watson, 73, is the building's owner, and owner of Filter Service and Best Air, and has some interest in two of the other firms. He declined comment for this story.
Desmone said the borough is in the process of issuing a demolition permit for 110 Cheswick Ave. The rear of the building, which received the most damage, will be torn down, he said. Demolition could start in mid-January once paperwork is complete.
“They are probably going to try to save the front office part of it,” Desmone said. “They can do the roof first so the interior can be worked on during winter.”
Filter Service and Best Air have relocated within Cheswick to Watercrest Way, Desmone said.
The other firms are now located in the Schreiber Industrial Park in New Kensington along the Allegheny River, Desmone said. Messages left with those firms requesting comment for this story were not returned.
“They're all still up and running,” Desmone said of the four firms. “Nothing's been lost, so to speak, as far as jobs. They bounced back really quickly.”
Paul King, service supervisor for Filter Service, said the company lost a lot in the fire, but things are looking better.
“It's been a long, arduous process in some ways,” King said. “We're happy the company is back up and running.”
King commends Watson for revitalizing the businesses.
“When you run a business, that's part of who you are,” King said. “They key part is he has an awful lot of people counting on him to work here; people who have been with him a long time. But he has a big heart.”
Desmone said he is glad the companies remained in Cheswick and pleased the damaged building may be occupied by a business again.
“When I look at my (zoning) book and the guidelines of what can be put in there, there is a broad range,” Desmone said. “It's a good thing.”
“It's a win-win,” Desmone said. “Eddie is still up in production, and there's a piece of property that can be leased, so Cheswick can have another (business) going in.”
Desmone said he was speaking with insurance adjustors in mid-December regarding the demolition and Watson received praise.
“ ‘What a nice man,' the insurance man (told me),” Desmone said. “That's just the kind of guy Ed is. I'm glad he's staying local.”
Maria Guzzo is a freelance 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.
- New Ken police arrest cobbler robbery suspects
- New Kensington residents furious over road conditions
- New Kensington to consider bake shop
- Alle-Kiski police try to get drivers to cool it
- Vandergrift works on flooding, sewage project issues
- Springdale counters despair with ‘HOPE’
- Alle-Kiski farmers: Crops weather heavy rain
- Keystone Markers give insights about towns but have fallen victim to time, theft or traffic accidents
- Ex-church youth leader to face trial for forcing teen girl to have sex
- Saxonburg residents surprised by zoning proposal