4 cats die in early morning Monessen duplex fire
No people were injured, but four cats died in a Saturday morning fire in Monessen.
Municipal fire Chief Chris Rhome said a fire call came in at 6:37 a.m. for the left side of a duplex at 413 First St. The lone resident, Ray “Mickey” Manderino, was not home at the time.
An electrical short in a lamp in an upstairs bedroom ignited a nightstand before flames spread to a mattress and an interior bedroom wall, Rhome said.
Monessen No. 1 fire Chief Joe Altemara and firefighters Anthony Snyder and Ben Billy rushed into the bedroom and knocked down flames with a hose approximately 15 minutes after the call came in, Rhome said. The fire was contained to the bedroom, he said.
“Another 15 minutes and we'd have had a hell of a mess on our hands. This fire would have really, really been going,” Rhome said.
“It was knocked down within a matter of minutes, but we spent another hour and 20 minutes checking for any extension.”
The call came in with reports of entrapment, but that wasn't the case, Rhome said.
Dorothy Demas, who lives in the other side of the duplex, escaped unharmed, Rhome said. Demas owns the duplex. Demas' daughter, who was visiting from out of state, made the call after smelling smoke.
Demas' side of the duplex was not damaged, Rhome said.
Manderino has been housing more than a dozen cats, four of which died from apparent smoke inhalation, Rhome said.
Capt. Tom Ashbaugh and firefighters Snyder and Brian Walters rescued one cat from the upstairs, administered oxygen and were able to revive it.
Firefighters found other cats unharmed when they went to the basement to shut off the main power source, Rhome said.
Code enforcement officer Buzzy Byron said Sunday that Manderino's residence is temporarily uninhabitable because of moderate water and smoke damage. The cats were well taken-care of, he said.
Byron said Manderino had gone fishing early Saturday morning before the fire broke out. Saturday was the first day of trout season.
The Monessen No. 1 and Hilltop departments responded, along with the North Belle Vernon fire department, Monessen police and Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services.
The incident capped a busy weekend for city firefighters, who had responded to six alarms over the past two days, including a minor chimney fire and brush fire, Rhome said.
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.
- Belle Vernon Area, teachers reach deal early Tuesday, avoid strike
- Mount St. Macrina hosting annual pilgrimage
- Mother, son share musical talent with Elizabeth Forward band students
- Traffic stop in Monessen yields drug charges
- Alleged Donora Towers burglar jailed
- St. Vincent de Paul store in Monessen still growing