ShareThis Page
Valley News Dispatch

Building owner vows to help Allegheny Angler to stay in Tarentum

Mary Ann Thomas
| Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, 4:00 p.m.
Brothers Joe and Rick DeMichele (from left to right), owners of Allegheny Angler in Tarentum, survey the damage to their store after a fire last month.
Mary Ann Thomas | Tribune-Review
Brothers Joe and Rick DeMichele (from left to right), owners of Allegheny Angler in Tarentum, survey the damage to their store after a fire last month.
Tarentum fire companies work to contain a fire at 200 Second Ave near the corner of Ross and Second Ave. Wednesday Oct 17, 2018. The Allegheny Angler, a bait and tackle store is directly affected from the fire and smoke of the adjacent apartment were the fire started.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Tarentum fire companies work to contain a fire at 200 Second Ave near the corner of Ross and Second Ave. Wednesday Oct 17, 2018. The Allegheny Angler, a bait and tackle store is directly affected from the fire and smoke of the adjacent apartment were the fire started.

The owner of a Tarentum building damaged by fire last month says she wants to keep the well-known fishing tackle shop in her building’s first floor.

Olivia Phillips, who owns the L-shaped building at Second Avenue and Ross Street that caught fire Oct. 17, vowed to help Allegheny Angler re-open.

“We will do everything we can to keep that bait shop in operation,” Phillips said.

The initial reports of the blaze indicated it was accidental and possibly caused by an appliance in the kitchen, said Rich Heuser, Eureka Fire Rescue EMS operations manager. Local officials have not yet received the final results of the investigation from the Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s office, Heuser said.

Allegheny Angler has rented from Phillips for 30 years and is the only fishing tackle shop between Harmar and Kittanning. The shop has been closed since the fire.

“They have been great tenants,” she said.

The store still is selling fishing equipment online, said Rick DeMichele, Allegheny Angler co-owner.

“We’re planning on staying here if we can,” DeMichele said.

He would like to reopen in February to prepare for the store’s busy time in March and April during the run-up to the opening of trout season.

The first floor of the building — where the store is — received water damage. The other part of the building, where Phillips lived, is uninhabitable. The second floor is a total loss, she said.

Phillips, who is now living in Lower Burrell, is unsure of the fate of the entire building.

On her third Dumpster to clean out her fire-damaged home, Phillips said Tuesday she is working with others to assess the damages and secure repair estimates. There are no time estimates available as to when the bait shop could reopen.

According to Phillips, she and her ex-husband, John Phillips, built the building in the early 1980s and opened the Big Dipper ice cream shop, which later became the tackle shop.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary Ann at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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.

click me