No injuries in smoky Tarentum fire Monday morning
No one was injured on Monday morning in a smoky basement fire in Tarentum.
Four departments responded around 9:30 a.m. to the fire in a 2 1⁄2-story brick house at 330 E. Eighth Ave.
Bill Brucker, assistant fire chief for Highland Hose Company in Tarentum, said the fire started in the basement when items around a dehumidifier were set ablaze.
The homeowner, Joyce Lunsford, said she was getting ready for work on the first floor when she smelled smoke. She left the house for a neighbor's with her 10-year-old son and their dog. Lundsford's husband was at work.
“It had a distinct smell, like a furnace burning,” Lunsford said. “We got out of the house right away. I thought it was going to explode.”
Black plumes of smoke had spread to the second story by the time firefighters arrived. They opened most of the windows to ventilate the smoke and attacked the fire with hand lines, Brucker said.
The Lunsfords' cat remained in the house during the fire, but was believed to be alive. Firefighters said they saw it hiding on the second floor as they ventilated the house.
Brucker said the first and second floors sustained some smoke damage, but that the house appeared “inhabitable.”
An investigation by the Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office was ongoing Monday.
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or firstname.lastname@example.org.