Fire that damaged Strip District warehouse considered suspicious
The cause of a fire that damaged a Pittsburgh warehouse is suspicious in nature, city fire investigators determined Monday afternoon.
The fire early Monday at the Strip District warehouse caused a large amount of damage to the building, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said.
The warehouse is part of McCaffery Interests’ $100 million redevelopment project in the Strip District.
“This was a very hard fire to be able to control because the interior of the building is all wood,” Peduto said.
Although the damage was severe, it doesn’t appear as if it compromised the structure of the building, Peduto said.
“This is simply a matter of restoration,” the mayor said.
No further details on the cause have been released.
The fire was reported shortly before 4:40 a.m. at the building between 16th and 17th streets along Smallman Street. It went to three alarms.
Smoke or steam occasionally billowed out as firefighters treated hotspots hours later.
McCaffery is expected to spend $50 million redeveloping the warehouse for offices and shops. The warehouse is across Smallman Street from the Produce Terminal, where McCaffery expects to spend another $50 million in redevelopment.
Dan McCaffery, the company’s CEO, said he hoped the fire would only be a “minor setback.”
It was too early to say how the fire would impact the development, he said. It won’t have any effect on the plans for the Produce Terminal
There was construction happening in and around the warehouse. The interior of the warehouse appeared to be gutted. The sidewalk was already closed and fenced in for construction.
At least a dozen firefighters still on the scene of a warehouse fire on Smallman St. between 16th & 17th Sts. that started early this morning in the Strip District. Here’s what it looks like from the 16th Street Bridge. Smallman still closed to traffic. @TribLIVE pic.twitter.com/shPXvFuTFF
— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) September 30, 2019
Some workers who were in the area this morning said electricity was out on Smallman Street from Colville Street down to at least the 17th Street block, where the warehouse that had the fire is located.