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Patron alerts store employees to burning Rostraver building

| Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, 8:06 p.m.
There were no reports of injuries in a fire that erupted Friday evening at a store in Tri-County Plaza along Interstate 70 in Rostraver, Westmoreland County emergency dispatchers said. The fire was reported at 6:45 p.m. in the Dollar General along Route 201.
There were no reports of injuries in a fire that erupted Friday evening at a store in Tri-County Plaza along Interstate 70 in Rostraver, Westmoreland County emergency dispatchers said. The fire was reported at 6:45 p.m. in the Dollar General along Route 201.
There were no reports of injuries in a fire that erupted Friday evening at a store in Tri-County Plaza along Interstate 70 in Rostraver, Westmoreland County emergency dispatchers said. The fire was reported at 6:45 p.m. in the Dollar General along Route 201.
There were no reports of injuries in a fire that erupted Friday evening at a store in Tri-County Plaza along Interstate 70 in Rostraver, Westmoreland County emergency dispatchers said. The fire was reported at 6:45 p.m. in the Dollar General along Route 201.

There were no reports of injuries in a fire that erupted Friday evening at a store in Tri-County Plaza along Interstate 70 in Rostraver, Westmoreland County emergency dispatchers said.

Firefighters from a number of departments were called when the fire was reported at 6:45 p.m. in the Dollar General along Route 201, dispatchers said.

The fire was brought under control little more than an hour later, dispatchers said.

Traffic elsewhere in the shopping center, did not appear to be impeded by the emergency.

Nicole Brown, 31, of Allenport, an employee of Dollar General, said she was putting out some laundry products in the back of the store when she noticed it felt as if the heat was coming on. That's when a customer alerted her that there was a fire, and she turned and saw the flames.

“I don't know what happened,” said Brown, a seven-year employee who was working with Amber Martin, 25, of Belle Vernon. “The side wall was just full of flames.

“I was screaming for Amber to get everyone out, and we ran out of the store and started going to all the other stores to tell people about the fire.”

Among those they warned were two employees of an adjacent Hallmark store —Vince Karlski, 18, a student at Westmoreland County Community College, and Linda Malaspina, an employee of six years.

Ten stores in the plaza were closed for the duration of the night while firefighters remained on scene as a precaution.

Chuck Brittain is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at cbrittain@tribweb.com.

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