'Suspicious' fire at Belle Vernon house
A fire that nearly destroyed an unoccupied Belle Vernon house early Saturday morning has been deemed “suspicious” and is under investigation by police and a fire marshal.
Belle Vernon fire Chief Rich Saxberg said the blaze at 134 State St. started around 6 a.m. Saturday. He rated the structure a “total loss.”
The rental property had been unoccupied for at least a week, Saxberg said.
“It's suspicious; that's all I can really say at this point,” Saxberg said. “A fire marshal from Uniontown is investigating.”
He referred all other questions to police. Southwest Regional Police Chief John Hartman said Sunday he is conducting an open investigation.
“It was very involved,” he said. “There are certain issues that still have to be investigated here.”
Even though firefighters arrived within minutes, the structure was fully engulfed, Saxberg said, as flames poured from the walls and roof, piercing the early morning darkness.
“When we got the call, I could actually see (the fire) from my window,” said Saxberg, who lives nearly two blocks away. “Because of the location on the hill, it was tough to get to, but we had it knocked down pretty quick. It took about a half hour to get it under control and we were pretty much done with it within three hours.”
Belle Vernon, North Belle Vernon, Fayette City, Washington Township and Charleroi fire departments all responded to the scene. Stockdale, Monessen Hilltop and Perryopolis were all on standby.
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.
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.
- Police: Man jailed for throwing girl, 9, as she defended her mother
- Ringgold OKs teacher deal, eyes buildings
- Mon Valley C of C plans awards event
- Retirement requires thinking far ahead
- Retail theft suspect takes off, leaves baby at Rostraver Township Walmart
- Dedicated California educator Hasbrouck dead at 62
- Ringgold teachers OK four-year deal
- Valley men accused of burglary in Charleroi
- Monessen library presenting war stories
- Fallowfield plans meeting to reveal results of studies