ShareThis Page

Officer injured in scuffle at McKeesport fire scene

| Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 5:17 a.m.
McKeesport firefighters walk on Route 48 during their effort to fight a Wednesday afternoon fire that damaged a residence at 413 Long Run Road. Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport firefighter Jeff Tomovcsik douses a hot spot from the porch roof at 413 Long Run Road on Wednesday afternoon. Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News

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 eslagle@tribweb.com.

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.