Allegheny Township house a complete loss after early-morning fire |
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Brian C. Rittmeyer

The smell of smoke woke Levey Lantelme before sunrise Tuesday morning.

He went downstairs to find his kitchen engulfed in flames.

Looking at the smoldering remains of his first home, Lantelme, 22, felt lucky that he woke up and was able to get out.

“Another 10 minutes and I would have been dead,” he said.

The fire at 1488 Lucesco Road in Allegheny Township was reported shortly before 4:45 a.m., a Westmoreland County emergency dispatcher said.

Firefighters from eight departments in four counties — Westmoreland, Armstrong, Allegheny and Butler — responded to the call in the northern reaches of Westmoreland County, Allegheny Township fire Chief Mike Nickels said.

No firefighters were hurt. Nickels said it took them about 45 minutes to get the fire under control.

Only the chimney was left standing.

There are no hydrants in that area of the township, so firefighters had to wait for tankers to arrive with water, Nickels said. But with or without hydrants, Nickels said the house was lost.

“It was fully involved before we got here,” Nickels said.

The cause was under investigation.

Lantelme is a 2016 graduate of Kiski Area High School. He said he works as a machinist in Trafford.

His bedroom was full of smoke when he woke up. He found flames in his kitchen.

“I tried putting it out with my fire extinguisher, but I couldn’t get in the kitchen,” he said.

He went outside and called 911.

His two vehicles, a 2015 Chevy Spark and a 2012 Chevy Colorado, were reduced to charred shells in the garage.

His cat was missing.

Lantelme said his home was insured.

Lantelme said his parents and sister live nearby. He and his mother were due to leave for a vacation in Colorado in three days, a trip he says he’ll have to now cancel.

“I don’t have anything,” he said.

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