Officer injured in scuffle at McKeesport fire scene
By Eric Slagle
Published: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 5:16 a.m.
A McKeesport police officer was injured on Wednesday afternoon while trying to prevent a man whose home was on fire from entering the building.
Authorities said the officer slipped and fell at the scene and was transported by McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service to UPMC McKeesport for examination.
The two-story aluminum-sided home at 413 Long Run Road was reported to be on fire at about 2:33 p.m.
Neighbors said an occupant of the home, Gordon “Pete” Brown, tried to fight the blaze before firefighters arrived.
Police said Brown disregarded police and firefighters' orders to stay out, causing the subsequently injured officer to intervene.
Brown is charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, obstructing the administration of law or government functions and disorderly conduct.
McKeesport fire Chief Kevin Lust said the resident had the hose out when fire crews arrived.
“(Brown) kicked the door open and it was all flames in there,” Brown's neighbor Isaac Daniele said.
“He said, ‘My house is on fire,'” neighbor Emma McKenzie said. “He had a garden hose.”
Witnesses said a portable heater may have sparked the blaze.
Lust said firefighters cut a hole in the roof to vent the house.
Neighbors said members of Brown's family live in the rear unit.
Authorities said that apartment had smoke damage.
The Allegheny County Fire Marshal's office is investigating.
Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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