Fire destroys former car dealership in North Huntingdon, Route 30 reopens | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Fire destroys former car dealership in North Huntingdon, Route 30 reopens

1673645_web1_gtr-HamiltonBuickFire-091419
JEFF HIMLER | Tribune-Review
Firefighters continued to mop up at the scene of a fire that destroyed the former Hamilton Buick car dealership along Route 30 in North Huntingdon on Friday night.
1673645_web1_gtr-HamiltonBuickFire2-091419
JEFF HIMLER | Tribune-Review
Firefighters fighting a fire at the former Hamilton Buick car dealership along Route 30 in North Huntingdon on Friday night brought in heavy equipment to tear down a damaged section of the vacant building in order to expose flames in the rubble in that area.

A fire Friday night tore through the former Hamilton Buick car dealership just off Route 30 in the Jacktown Hill section of North Huntingdon, destroying the building, officials said.

Passing motorists reported the fire near the intersection of Center Highway at about 6:30 p.m., according to Circleville Assistant Fire Chief William Sombo.

“Within minutes the entire structure was involved, and it was right at rush hour on Friday the 13th,” he said.

Traffic in both directions on Route 30 was halted until about 10:45 p.m. to allow firefighters room to safely battle the blaze.

Traffic on Center Highway remained shut down late Friday as firefighters continued to douse hot spots in the charred ruins.

Sombo said the building, including a showroom and a small office space, was destroyed.

It was used to store parts for the Kenny Ross auto group, he said.

Nobody was in the building at the time, and there were no injuries to firefighters, Sombo said.

The Circleville Volunteer Fire Department was assisted by several other fire companies from both Westmoreland and Allegheny counties, including nine ladder trucks.

“It was completely a defensive firefight,” Sombo said. Firefighters were ordered not to enter the building to fight the fire.

Sombo was not able to say where the fire may have started.

Heavy equipment was used to tear apart portions of the damaged building so firefighters could douse remaining flames.

“We had to pull everything apart to get to the hot spots,” Sombo said. “There’s a concrete showroom floor and the metal roof came down on top of it.

”All the contents that were in under it is what we’re trying to break apart, and get the roof apart, so we can get in and complete the overhaul on all the hot spots,” he said as firefighters continued to work at the scene Friday night.

North Huntingdon Township fire investigators were summoned to the scene. Township police at the scene said they were not able to comment on the investigation.

Jeff Himler and Natasha Lindstrom are Tribune-Review staff writers. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news. Contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

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.