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Irwin fire rekindles

| Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, 1:02 a.m.

A fire rekindled Friday at an Irwin house where three family pets were saved.

Firefighters returned to 1220 Tenth St. around 9 a.m. The fire was extinguished by noon.

“It was due to the roofing material,” fire Chief Justin Mochar said. “It was an odd material, it was like a compressed sawdust, it just continued to burn.”

Mochar said crews “probably removed two thirds of the roof” on Thursday, when flames gutted that house.

More material was taken away on Friday.

Deputy fire Chief Shawn Stitely said crews stayed on location on Thursday until around 6 p.m., hoping to prevent the fire from reigniting.

Stitely said the hotspots involved an insulating sheeting material that acted like a wick.

“Every house is different. Every house is made out of a little different material,” Stitely said. “This particular material was very hard to extinguish.”

Irwin officials said the cause of the blaze remains under investigation by a state police fire marshal.

As for the family pets, Irwin firefighter Josh Helfman found a dog in a game room downstairs, and a cat was found in another room in the basement.

Mochar said a second cat was found alive later in the day Thursday.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com. Staff writer Patrick Cloonan contributed to this story.

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