Attic fire destroys home in West Deer
A West Deer house fire on Sunday brought five fire departments to Marshall Street where low water pressure kept crews from extinguishing the flames before the roof collapsed.
No one was injured in the fire, which burned for a little more than an hour before crews flooded the roof from a 75-foot aerial ladder, according to Chief Steve McCorkle of West Deer Fire Company No. 2. Homeowner Tom Ingold reported the fire about 2 p.m. He declined to comment.
Neighbor Dana Wangler said he saw small wisps of black smoke escaping from the attic as he went to investigate Ingold's cries for help. From across the street, he could hear a “soft crackling sound, like a bonfire” emanating from the house.
“I saw (Ingold) try to get back in his house,” Wangler said. “As soon as he got to the door, he just turned around. That's when I knew it was going to be bad.”
Firefighters from Frazer, Rural Ridge and all three West Deer companies entered the house shortly afterward to battle the attic fire, according to McCorkle.
The crews pulled out of the house about 30 minutes later. The roof was collapsing and a fire hydrant down the street wasn't supplying sufficient pressure to combat the flames, which were now ripping through the ceiling.
“At this time of the year, problems with water pressure are pretty typical,” McCorkle said. “The pipes continually freeze and thaw, and it wreaks havoc on our ability to pull from the hydrant.
“We decided then that we had to go from the offensive to the defensive.”
As the roof collapsed, firefighters brought in a 3,000-gallon water tanker to supply an aerial engine, which can shoot 750 gallons of water per minute. Firefighters atop the 75-foot ladder began dousing the roof and extinguished the flames within four minutes, according to McCorkle, who declared the fire out at about 3:05 p.m.
“It's a shame we had to use the aerial because that amount of water pretty much destroys everything in the house,” he said. “Attic fires are tough, though, because there are no walls to contain it and they burn through the roof very quickly.”
The Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating. An on-scene fire marshal declined to comment and a call to the office later in the evening went unanswered.
“We're glad no one was hurt,” McCorkle said. “This was the biggest fire we've dealt with this year.”
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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.
- Rossi: It’s past time for NFL to protect players
- Steelers stalled by Seahawks, on outside of AFC wild-card picture
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger reported symptoms that led to his exit vs. Seahawks
- Obama: Climate pact an ‘act of defiance’ after Paris attacks
- Steelers players say they support Tomlin’s attempts at deception
- Pennsylvania Game Commission reaps revenue from shale gas under game lands
- Family of man accused of shooting St. Clair officer say allegations don’t fit his character
- Week 12 — Steelers-Seahawks gameday grades
- Steelers notebook: Seahawks’ Sherman gets better of WR Brown
- Sports Deli is latest tenant to say goodbye to Parkway Center Mall
- Muslim civil rights group seeks investigation into shooting of Pittsburgh taxi driver