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West Mifflin blaze remains under investigation

| Saturday, July 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

West Mifflin police, firefighters and the Allegheny County Fire Marshal's office continue to investigate the cause of a house fire along Sylvan Avenue.

Authorities at the scene declined to speculate if fireworks may have sparked the Thursday night blaze.

Homeowner Bill Margita told Trib Total Media news exchange partner WPXI-11 that he planned to fix the vacant home and sell it to his daughter. He said he believed the blaze was caused by fireworks.

“There was a tree in the side back there, in the back porch, that's gone,” Margita said. “It looks like that tree must have caught the house on fire and burned up the back of the house. That's why I'm thinking the fireworks came off the hill and did it.”

The house had working utilities that were disconnected as part of firefighters' response to the blaze.

“I think about other people, what they lose, so I guess I'm in the category with one of them that's supposed to lose. As long as I got a job, that's all that counts. This stuff, I can always collect again,” Margita said.

It took firefighters approximately an hour to get the two-alarm blaze under control.

“Due to where the house is sitting and how it's situated, we called for a second alarm for manpower and additional resources,” Duquesne Annex Volunteer Fire Co. fire Chief Sean Lear said.

Companies from Homestead, Dravosburg, Glassport, Whitaker and Duquesne answered the call and Salvation Army Disaster Services was on the scene. Port Vue firefighters were on standby at the Duquesne Annex station. No injuries were reported.

Lear said the fire appears to have started at the rear of the three-story brick structure.

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