McKeesport teen questioned in fire
A McKeesport teenager faced questioning on Friday night after his mother called firefighters to their home along the 700 block of Ridge Street.
City fire officials said they found a smoldering rag on top of cleaning supplies under a table, while the 15-year-old male was playing a video game in another room.
“We had moderate smoke conditions,” deputy fire Chief Vince Wassel said. “We removed the box with the cleaning supplies and found the 15-year-old was home by himself.”
Wassel said there was no damage other than to the cleaning supplies. At presstime the youth was being interviewed by city police and an Allegheny County fire marshal.
It was the second of two calls for city firefighters on Friday. The first, which damaged a home at 2314 Cronemeyer Ave., was ruled accidental by the county fire marshal.
Firefighters were called to the home shortly before 11:30 a.m., and by 11:40 dispatchers called in off-duty firefighters to help working crews extinguish the confirmed blaze.
Highland Avenue resident Wendy Bernath, who called 911, said she smelled smoke in the area for nearly an hour before realizing there was a fire.
“I kept looking outside, and I didn't see anything,” Bernath said. “The smell got stronger. I called for my husband, and we checked our house before looking around outside again.”
When she saw smoke coming from a second-floor window at 2314 Cronemeyer, Bernath contacted authorities. She and her husband did not see their neighbor's vehicle outside, but banged on the door in case anyone was home.
McKeesport Fire Chief Kevin Lust said the resident was at work at the time of the fire.
“The fire basically was contained in one room on the second floor,” Lust said. “It went up the wall into the attic, but didn't go through the roof.”
The blaze was under control within 30 minutes, and the scene was cleared early in the afternoon.
“It was a very quick knockdown,” Lust said. “Our crews did a very good job.”
Utilities have been turned off, and the man is staying with family.
Patrick Cloonan and Jennifer R. Vertullo are staff writers for Trib Total Media. They can be reached at 412-664-9161, Cloonan at ext. 1967 or email@example.com, Vertullo at ext. 1956 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Santa’s visit to North Versailles hardware store marks milestone on Small Business Saturday
- McKeesport Area discusses easier access of public documents
- Kennywood Holiday Lights festival returns for 5th year
- After 27 years, Clairton emerges from state ‘financially distressed’ status
- McKeesport fire victim’s sister critical of response to blaze
- Clairton City School District wins award for its anti-hunger efforts
- Renzie Park gets more local sales tax revenue in $96.9M Regional Asset District budget
- Former McKeesport resident donates to heritage center children’s raffle
- Fire breaks out for 3rd time in abandoned McKeesport house
- 2 more students allege McKeesport Area teacher aide had sex with them
- North Versailles’ Dance Company’s ‘Nutcracker’ expands with bonus program for students