Irwin Borough seeks solution to fire siren, leaky roof | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Irwin Borough seeks solution to fire siren, leaky roof

Joe Napsha
1398220_web1_gtr-Irwinsiren-051719

The buckets that catch rainwater inside Irwin Borough’s offices will have to remain in place as borough officials try to solve a recurring problem — what to do with the town’s fire department siren atop the borough building roof, where water continues to leak inside the structure.

Borough officials last week postponed taking any action on hiring a contractor to reseal the area and fix the metal housing holding the siren believed to be source of the leak. John Stevens & Sons Roofing of Irwin bid $1,500 to do the project, but council members said they would wait until August so the Irwin fire department can obtain bids on fixing the leak around the siren. The base for the siren would have to be removed at least temporarily while repairs are being done.

The fire department has had difficulty obtaining bids on what is a specialty job — removing the siren and the fixtures that operate the siren, said Shawn Stitely, deputy fire chief. While the siren weighs only a few pounds, it is attached to a 40-gallon holding tank.

Council President Rick Burdelski questioned whether the siren could be placed on a pole attached to the building, but was told that could present problems, as well. The siren is attached to air compressors in the basement of the borough building and are too large to be removed through the doorways.

The roof of the building consists of rubber layers, and those are hard to keep sealed in the winter, said Lucien Bove, borough engineer.

Water has leaked into borough offices and the police department evidence room, said Shari Martino, the borough’s acting manager. Some ceiling tiles have been damaged as well.

Even though members of the fire department typically are notified of emergencies through cellphones and pagers, the siren, which has been atop the building for more than 50 years, remains an important part of alerting firefighters to an emergency, said Justin Mochar, Irwin fire chief. There are times when the alert system using the cellphones or pagers are not working, but he can still can hear the fire whistle, Mochar said.

Mochar has said moving the fire department siren to another building, like the fire hall, will make some other residents upset about the noise.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Norwin | Westmoreland
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.