Leechburg home destroyed by fire
Only smudged brick walls, lingering smoke and memories remain after a fire raced through 355 Madison Ave., Leechburg, Tuesday morning, leaving its owner uninjured but homeless.
Next-door neighbor William Gatto said he saw homeowner Janel McKee, 46, leave about 8 a.m.
About 15 minutes later, McKee's nephew, Eddie Paul, looked out the window of his Campbell Avenue house about three blocks away as he was preparing to leave for work.
Smoke was roiling from the vicinity of his aunt's house, which is located at the end of a dead-end street. Paul rushed to the house and called 911.
When he heard sirens, Gatto looked up from his computer and saw flames leaping high from the roof of his neighbor's house.
Leechburg Fire Chief Tom Foster said no one was home when volunteers from five fire companies arrived soon after the 8:17 a.m. call.
“I saw flames when I started up the hill toward the house,” he said.
A state fire marshal will investigate the cause of the blaze, he said. A damage estimate wasn't available.
Firefighters used Leechburg's aerial truck to cascade water onto the burning roof. The blaze was contained in about a half-hour.
Everything was blackened, soddened, destroyed.No one was injured, but the 1960s ranch-style house was reduced to rubble.
McKee, a cook, sat in Gatto's front yard. Gatto's wife, Carol, retrieved a blanket for the stunned McKee who shivered, shook her head and quietly cried.
Paul and his mother, Glenda, tried to comfort McKee.Chief Foster said firefighters from Gilpin, West Leechburg, Hyde Park and Parks joined Leechburg volunteers to fight the fire.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.