Fire hits Robinson apartment complex
Colby Cox was attending his sister's baby shower in Robinson on Saturday when someone looked out the window and saw smoke billowing from an apartment building nearby.
Cox, 18, and his brother ran to the three-story building at 1900 Ventana Drive and started knocking on doors — and then breaking them down — to see whether anyone was inside. Everyone got out, and Cox said he figures they saved at least two or three dogs and some pet birds.
“It was a quick fire,” said Cox of Chippewa. “Our intention was to get out any living thing.”
The first 911 call came at 4:17 p.m., an Allegheny County dispatcher said. Flames engulfed one unit by the time firefighters arrived, and the blaze spread to at least four other units when the roof and part of an exterior wall collapsed. No one was injured.
“We had heavy smoke and heavy fire from the roof,” Moon Run fire Chief Paul Kashmer said.
The fire stunned residents of the development, which has many multiple-unit buildings across a steep hillside.
Mike O'Rourke, 40, of Columbus, Ohio, was helping a buddy move into one of the buildings when they saw the fire.
“We just pulled up and smelled something burning,” O'Rourke said. “And then about five minutes later, we looked up, and the building was engulfed.”
They, too, began pounding on doors to alert people.
Erika Vasquez, 40, a resident of the building that caught on fire, was returning from a workout when she saw the flames. She ran up to find her unit destroyed with firefighters inside spraying down the walls to keep embers from flaring.
She had lost almost everything — except her dog, Lola, a pug-Jack Russell terrier mix. “This is the only thing that really matters,” she said, covered in soot from cuddling the dog.
Firefighters from Robinson's three volunteer companies as well as units from Kennedy, Stowe and Emsworth responded to the blaze, according to authorities.
Kashmer said he could not estimate the extent of the damage or immediately identify the cause of the fire.
Andrew Conte is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writers Bill Vidonic and Tony LaRussa contributed to this report.
Add Andrew Conte to your Google+ circles.
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.
- Penguins notebook: Staal insists he never asked for trade to Penguins
- Spring training breakdown: Braves 7, Pirates 5
- North Fayette company changes defendants in Antonio Brown endorsement lawsuit
- Pitt adds quarterback recruit from Cincinnati
- Sinkhole caused by mine subsidence closes Laketon Road in Penn Hills
- Steelers re-sign WR Heyward-Bey to 1-year deal
- Alone at controls, Germanwings co-pilot sought to ‘destroy’ the plane
- Santorum: Obama opposition to fossil fuels ‘quasi-religious’
- Spring check-up: Gingham is this season’s fashion favorite
- Review: A teenage girl’s nightmare realized in ‘It Follows’
- Lawrenceville man will stand trial on ‘revenge porn’ charges