Cigarette in restroom at Pittsburgh International starts fire, clears concourse
Smoke, a few cigarette butts and a rolled-up sleeping mat discovered Thursday in a men's restroom at Pittsburgh International Airport prompted authorities to evacuate a concourse, call out the bomb squad and move three airlines' planes to other gates.
Authorities determined that a smoldering cigarette caught paper towels and other debris on fire in the restroom, sending smoke into Concourse D, but it remains a mystery who stashed the sleeping mat in a satchel behind a restroom panel, airport spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said.
“It looks like this was a case of someone smoking in the boys room,” Jenny said when Concourse D reopened about 11 a.m.
Smoking is not allowed in the airport.
Jenny said authorities received a report of smoke in the area of Gate D80 about 7:30 a.m. Authorities found smoke coming from behind a plumbing access panel in the restroom, along with the stashed satchel. Concourse D was evacuated about 10 a.m.
The Allegheny County Police bomb squad and county fire marshal quickly determined the satchel presented no danger. They found cigarette butts nearby, Jenny said.
Airlines that use 14 gates off Concourse D moved planes to Concourse A gates for about an hour. They included United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, Jenny said.
The incident did not delay any flights, according to flight tracking website FlightStats.com.
Jenny could not say whether the authority would investigate to determine whether an employee or a person contracted by the authority hid the sleeping mat to nap on the job.
Tom Fontaine is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He canbe reached at 412-320-7847or email@example.com.
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 â 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.