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Resident says extension cord sparks may have led to McKeesport fire

Michael DiVittorio
| Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 2:41 a.m.
Firefighters work to put out a fire that started in the basement of 1511 Sumac Street in McKeesport on Wednesday afternoon.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Firefighters work to put out a fire that started in the basement of 1511 Sumac Street in McKeesport on Wednesday afternoon.
Michael Babyak sits on a neighbor's porch after a fire broke out in his basement at 1511 Sumac Street in McKeesport, Wednesday afternoon.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Michael Babyak sits on a neighbor's porch after a fire broke out in his basement at 1511 Sumac Street in McKeesport, Wednesday afternoon.
Emergency personnel responded to a basement fire at 1511 Sumac Street in McKeesport, Wednesday afternoon.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Emergency personnel responded to a basement fire at 1511 Sumac Street in McKeesport, Wednesday afternoon.

Michael and Margie Babyak spent Wednesday night at a home in King's Mountain near Seven Springs because an afternoon fire made their McKeesport house uninhabitable.

Allegheny County Fire Marshal's office is investigating the afternoon blaze on Sumac Street, but Michael Babyak said he knows what happened.

He was defrosting a refrigerator with a hair dryer in the basement when sparks from an extension cord sent flames and smoke billowing throughout the house.

“I didn't think I was going to make it out,” he said.

Margie Babyak said she was on the porch when the fire started, and felt fine when McKeesport Area Rescue Services personnel checked on her and her husband. The couple has lived at the home since 1952.

McKeesport fire Chief Kevin Lust said the Babyaks would not be able to return to the two-story single-family dwelling for a while. No injuries were reported.

Michael Babyak said the home is insured.

Glassport firefighters and McKeesport police responded to the call. The intersections of Sumac and Dinsmore streets and Sumac and Garbett streets were closed to traffic.

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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