Attempt to repair furnace leads to house fire in Bell
A Bell man's efforts to fix a problematic furnace somehow sparked a fire Tuesday that severely damaged the home that he and his wife had shared for 30 years.
Brian and Tracy Dudley, along with their dog Harley, escaped unharmed from the fire at their home at 234 McDivitt Road, which is off Route 819 in the southern reaches of the township. The fire was reported to Armstrong County 911 at 5:16 p.m.
Brian Dudley said he was working on the old, oil-fired furnace in the center of the home, trying to get it to run, when it caught on fire.
“It's been giving me headaches off and on all winter,” he said.
Tracy Dudley said they had just gotten food delivered from Fox's Pizza when the fire started.
“It was such a massive ball of flames from the furnace,” she said, sitting in a car to keep warm with Harley, a Pekingese-Maltese mix. “It looked like the whole entire hall was on fire.”
Bell fire Chief Steve Master said there was heavy smoke showing when firefighters arrived. The Dudleys were outside.
Master described the home as a trailer conversion, possibly a trailer with an addition. Firefighters went inside and had the fire under control in about 40 minutes, he said.
No firefighters were hurt.
Master described the house as a 60 percent loss, and rendered uninhabitable.
He said half the damage came from the fire, and the rest from firefighters having to tear down the ceiling inside. With temperatures outside hovering around 10 to 12 degrees, Master said firefighters didn't use that much water, only about 3,000 gallons. In addition to water, they also used compressed air foam.
Brian Dudley said they had insurance. They have family in the area, and were considering staying at a hotel. Master said the Red Cross was called to help them.
Tracy Dudley said she ran outside without a coat, but her husband got it for her from a chair in the living room. “It was a good thing it wasn't put away,” she said.
That they had just had food delivered made making finding Harley easy — he was in the living room with the food, Tracy Dudley said.
“Nobody had to hunt him down,” she said. “He was right there with the food.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or email@example.com.
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.
- Despite challenging weather, home sales continue to rise
- Retired teacher pushes black history forward at Peoples Library presentation
- Arnold settles health benefits lawsuit with former councilman
- Record-breaking temps could make February the coldest one since 1979
- Fawn teen wins national Patriot’s Pen essay contest
- Months of hard work go into Alle-Kiski high-school musicals
- BCCC donation carries on passion of late conservationist William Baer
- Fire damages vacant Vandergrift home
- Leechburg man charged with molesting girls, watching child pornography
- 3 charged with selling heroin that killed Lower Burrell woman
- Oakmont hit-run probed