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Fire destroys vacant house in Plum's Logans Ferry Heights

Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Firefighters examine the scene of a fire that destroyed a vacant house along Dombroski Avenue in Plum late Monday, March 24, 2014.

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By Braden Ashe
Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 1:36 a.m.

The Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a fire on Monday night that destroyed a vacant house in Plum's Logans Ferry Heights neighborhood in less than half an hour.

Six fire departments from Lower Burrell, New Kensington and Plum were dispatched about 10:30 p.m. to 223 Dombroski Ave. for the fire, Logans Ferry Heights fire Chief Ray Brenner said.

“The front half of the house was completely engulfed when we got there,” he said. “We set up two pumpers on the street and attacked it from the front. We had it out in about 20 minutes, but the house is at least 75 percent destroyed.”

A nearby neighbor said the property has been vacant for at least a week. The renter of the property, they said, had been in and out of the house for about a year.

The owner was not at the scene Monday night.

Brenner said firefighters found no personal belongings in the house when they went in to ventilate the interior and douse any remaining hot spots with handheld hoses.

“I'm not going to speculate what caused it,” Brenner said, “but it definitely started out front by the porch. It went through the roof and then it began to spread back toward the rear of the house.”

Fire crews set up a 75-foot aerial equipped with flame retardant foam on adjacent State Street in case the fire threatened to spread to other properties.

“The houses are all pretty close together up here, so it could have been a problem,” Brenner said. “If it started to spread, we would have made it rain out here.”

The fire marshal who arrived to investigate declined to comment.

Crews shut down State Street and everything toward New Kensington for about two hours to deal with the fire.

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or

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