Generator sparked blaze that destroyed South Buffalo home | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Generator sparked blaze that destroyed South Buffalo home

Madasyn Czebiniak

A woman was able to escape her South Buffalo home when it went up in flames Tuesday morning.

Firefighters said a generator was responsible for the blaze that destroyed the home at 266 White Rock Road.

“The residents had a generator running,” Freeport fire Chief 1 Tom Sweeny Jr. said. “It popped and then started a fire.”


Heidi Powell, who lives in the neighborhood, identified the homeowners as Tom and Mary Ann Timney. She said Mary Ann Timney was home at the time of the fire, but she was able to get out.

“She’s OK,” Powell said of her neighbor. “She’s shook up.”

Powell said she and her daughter ran outside when they saw flames. They found Mary Ann, who told them the generator exploded.

“She told us her husband was safe and working out at the YMCA. She was reading a book in a different part of the house. She immediately got out and started knocking on neighbors’ doors. That’s about when I found her,” Powell said.

Powell said her neighbors had been without power and had been using a generator since strong winds knocked out power to thousands of western Pennsylvania residents on Sunday.

“It’s scary and sad when we’re on a dead end road and have no power and resort to generator service for days on end,” Powell said. “Most of us probably underestimate the risk of fire from a generator.”

Sweeny said seven fire departments responded to the blaze. It was reported about 9:20 a.m.

The house was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived. They were able to get it under control within 25 minutes.

“It was through the roof. One wall was already starting to collapse,” Sweeny said. “For the minimal crew we had, and a couple trucks, we knocked down what was a pretty heavy fire.”

No one was injured. The home was destroyed.

The fire had to be put out with water tanker trucks because there aren’t any hydrants in the immediate area.

“Unfortunately, because of the remote location, it’s a little tough to get back here. It’s even tougher getting a water supply,” Sweeny said Tuesday morning.

A neighboring house suffered some minor damage to its siding but was otherwise OK, the chief said.

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .


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Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
A South Buffalo home off of White Rock Road along the Allegheny River was destroyed by fire Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
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Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Fire fighter circle to the rear of a home on fire in South Buffalo Twp, Tuesday Feb 26, 2019. The house along White Rock Road in the Village of Clinton was reported fully involved on fire around 9:30AM.
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Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
South Buffalo firefighters Ryan Doyed and Eugene Steinke prepare to battle a blaze along White Rock Road in the Village of Clinton in South Buffalo on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
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Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Fire fighters work to control a fire that destroyed a South Buffalo Township home on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
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Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
A house along White Rock Road in South Buffalo was destroyed by fire on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
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Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Firefighters draw water from the Allegheny River as they battle a blaze at a home in the Village of Clinton in South Buffalo on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. The house was reported fully engulfed in flames around 9:30 a.m.
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