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Fire damages Glassport business

Michael DiVittorio
| Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 4:21 a.m.
A fire at Joe Winzek's Catering & Take Out Service near the intersection of Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue in Glassport drew a crowd Monday evening.
Firefighters from seven different companies responded to a fire at that location
A fire at Joe Winzek's Catering & Take Out Service near the intersection of Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue in Glassport drew a crowd Monday evening. Firefighters from seven different companies responded to a fire at that location
McKeesport firefighter Chris Cerci cut  holes in the roof of Joe Winzek's Catering & Take Out Service to ventilate a second-floor fire.
Michael DiVittorio
McKeesport firefighter Chris Cerci cut holes in the roof of Joe Winzek's Catering & Take Out Service to ventilate a second-floor fire.
Dravosburg firefighters adjust their gear before heading into Joe Winzek's Catering & Take Out Service.
Michael DiVittorio
Dravosburg firefighters adjust their gear before heading into Joe Winzek's Catering & Take Out Service.
White Oak firefighter Justin Vidra peers out of a window in the second floor apartments of Joe Winzek's Catering & Take Out Service near the intersection of Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue in Glassport.
Firefighters from seven different companies responded to a fire at that location Monday evening.
Michael DiVittorio
White Oak firefighter Justin Vidra peers out of a window in the second floor apartments of Joe Winzek's Catering & Take Out Service near the intersection of Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue in Glassport. Firefighters from seven different companies responded to a fire at that location Monday evening.

A Glassport caterer whose building was gutted by fire Monday evening said he is uncertain about how he will rebuild his business and replace the second-story apartments destroyed in the blaze.

“I don't know what I'm going to do,” said Joe Winzek, whose Catering & Take Out has served patrons for 45 years from the building at the intersection of Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue. “All I know is that we've got a lot of cleanup to do.”

Winzek said he left work at 5 o'clock to go to his daughter's house. Glassport Fire Chief Wayne Lewis said the fire was reported at 5:47.

“When the fire department arrived there was heavy fire on the second floor,” Lewis said. “At this point of the investigation, we have about four rooms left. We're up there investigating right now.”

No injuries were reported, and the blaze was under control in 20 minutes, Lewis said.

“Guys did a tremendous job on it,” he said.

The chief said the Allegheny County fire marshal was attempting to determine a cause.

Winzek said he was told the fire may have started in the kitchen of one of the second-floor apartments at the back of the building.

McKeesport firefighters cut ventilation holes in the roof while others broke windows while battling the blaze.

“When we got here, one of the occupants ran back in,” Lewis said. “We don't know why. He's all shook up.”

Lewis said investigators hadn't yet spoken to the man.

Firefighters from Clairton, Dravosburg, White Oak, Homestead, Jefferson Hills and Liberty also responded, as did Clairton EMS and Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services.

A cooling station was set up along Spruce Alley.

The intersection of Eighth Street and Vermont Avenue was blocked to motorists.

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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