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'Suspicious' fire destroys 2 buildings in McKeesport

| Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 4:41 a.m.
Ronald Vezzani Jr. | Daily News
McKeesport firefighters work to control a large fire in two abandoned homes along Colfax Street.
Ronald Vezzani Jr. | Daily News
McKeesport firefighters work to control a large fire in two abandoned homes along Colfax Street.
Ronald Vezzani Jr. | Daily News
McKeesport firefighters work to control a large fire in two abandoned homes along Colfax Street.

Fire destroyed two McKeesport buildings that have been vacant for years and sent one firefighter to the hospital with a back injury on Tuesday night.

Smoke and ash from the fully engulfed adjacent structures in the 200 block of Colfax Street hampered visibility as city and Glassport firefighters battled the blaze, which was reported at about 10. White Oak firefighters were on standby.

McKeesport Deputy Fire Chief Chuck Margliotti called the fire “suspicious in nature.”

Both were missing windows and doors and were exposed to weather elements, Margliotti said.

Allegheny County Fire Marshal's office is investigating.

Margliotti said the fire began at 2004 Colfax St. Two large trees in front of the building forced firefighters to take an angled approach and to attack the fire from the side.

Firefighters used ladders at the adjacent 2006 Colfax St. to gain access.

Emergency responders remained at the scene at presstime. The intersection of Colfax and Park streets was closed to traffic.

Salvation Army Disaster Services, Equitable Gas and Duquesne Light crews responded.

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

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