Flames rip through Irwin house under renovation
Firefighters battled flames and heat exhaustion Thursday morning at a house fire in Irwin amid summery temperatures.
They rotated between the blaze and shade at the two-story structure under renovation along Eighth Street after the 8 a.m. fire call.
“We arrived to find the house fully involved as soon as I pulled in,” said Irwin Fire Chief Justin Mochar. “By the time the (firefighters) made entry, there was fire throughout the first floor moving to the second floor.”
Flames shot out of the roof as firefighters got the blaze under control. Mayor Bill Hawley said a family member recently bought the property and was fixing it up.
“I saw the smoke and I drove down,” Hawley said.
The new owners were planning to move in Sunday, Mochar said. No one was inside at the time of the fire.
The cause was under investigation. A Westmoreland 911 dispatcher said one firefighter was transported from the scene with a minor injury.
Firefighters from departments in Greensburg and Allegheny County were called in to help, Mochar said.
“We are having manpower issues due to the heat and the high humidity,” he said. “(Firefighters) are getting a lot of heat exhaustion, so we’re rotating in.”
Plus, many department members are at work at that time of day.
“We’re normally taxed at this time anyway as volunteers,” Mochar said.
Hawley said Irwin department members arrived quickly as he watched other firefighters pull pieces off of the house in an effort to extinguish the flames.
“I give these guys a lot of credit,” he said.
The property was bought about a month ago by Morgan and Amanda Cottrill, according to Westmoreland County records.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .