ShareThis Page
News

Fire damages Belmont Arena

| Monday, Feb. 10, 2003

EAST FRANKLIN: Seven area fire companies responded to an early morning blaze at the Belmont Complex and Arena early Sunday.

East Franklin Fire Chief Mark Feeney said the first call came in at 4:10 a.m., and his fire company was the first to respond.

Other fire departments who helped battle the blaze were Kittanning Hose Companies 1, 4, and 6, West Kittanning, Applewold and Worthington fire departments.

Feeney said Manor Township fire crews provided area standby coverage from West Kittanning. East Franklin Fire Department was recalled to the scene at 12:52 p.m. when the blaze rekindled. Fire crews quickly had the new blaze under control and were able to leave the scene before 2:30 p.m.

Feeney said the fire, which started in a 3,600-square-foot auxiliary building about 50 feet from the Belmont Arena, appeared to be electrical in origin, although the exact cause has not been determined. The state police fire marshal is investigating the cause.

The building was used to house a concession stand and locker rooms for local hockey teams, he said. Feeney said the building was a total loss.

He said the blaze managed to spread from the auxiliary building to the main complex by an unusual method — the phone lines.

"I've never seen anything like it before," Feeney said. "But it appears that an electrical short somehow traveled through the phone lines into a closet in the main building and a blaze started there, probably from the heat in the wiring. The closet door was closed and the fire smothered itself out."

Feeney said while the closet blaze in the main building did no apparent structural damage, the water and phone lines are out of operation.

"Obviously, they won't be able to use the main building until the water and phone lines are repaired," he said, "but it shouldn't take too much to get that part back into operation. Everything hinges on the state police investigation."

Feeney said the seven fire companies were on the scene for more than four hours.

"We returned to our fire department to do equipment clean up chores. Now we're ready to go to our respective jobs Monday morning," he said.

Armstrong County Commissioner James Scahill said the fire was tough to fight because it spread quickly through the roof.

"It's like a ranch house fire ... nothing to stop it," Scahill said.

"The firemen did an excellent job," he said.

"We're lucky we didn't lose the other building (the ice rink and offices)," Scahill said.

Contributing: Janice Heller, city editor of the Leader Times in Kittanning.

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