Afternoon heat a hazard as firefighters battle Tarentum blaze
A firefighter was taken to a hospital Saturday afternoon with heat exhaustion experienced while battling a structure fire in Tarentum.
Most of West Seventh Avenue in the borough was closed as firefighters battled the blaze in the large multi-unit building at 251 and 253 W. Seventh Ave.
Summit Hose Company Chief Josh Fox said the fire began in the basement and spread into the walls. No one lives in the building, and no one was inside at the time of the fire.
The fire was reported to 911 shortly after 1 p.m.
Fox said there was heavy smoke as the first firefighters arrived. They found fire throughout the structure, mainly in the walls, which he said made it difficult to fight.
Firefighters from nine departments responded.
The injured firefighter was with Highland Hose Volunteer Fire Company, Fox said. Temperatures were in the low 80s. Firefighters were combating the heat with water and flavored ice sticks.
Fox said the firefighter was treated at Allegheny Valley Hospital, then returned to the scene.
According to Fox, the Allegheny County Fire Marshal determined the fire was accidental and caused by an exhaust fan that had been left running in the basement, and had somehow jammed or seized up.
Firefighters were tearing apart the building inside to be sure the fire was out. Damage was extensive, Fox said.