No injuries reported in six-alarm Homestead fire

23 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 buildings burn as apartment fire spreads near Pittsburgh.

HOMESTEAD, Pa. (AP) — Five buildings burned as part of an early Friday apartment fire that spread to neighboring structures in the business district of a poorer suburb of Pittsburgh. Two residents rescued from a second-story window of the apartment building in Homestead were taken to a hospital for evaluation, but it wasn’t clear if they were injured, said Alvin Henderson, chief of emergency services for Allegheny County. Henderson, who also serves as the county’s fire marshal and will be investigating the blaze, said it was too soon to know what may have sparked the fire. He didn’t immediately know how many units were in the building, but said that some of the neighboring structures that burned had storefronts on the borough’s main business district along East 8th Avenue and might also have had rental units on upper floors.

She also told Heather Abraham live at the scene: “It sure is devastating, devastating to our avenue that we tried to rebuild with new stores and businesses.” The fire spread to three other buildings in a matter of minutes. It wasn’t immediately clear how many total housing units were damaged or destroyed, or even how many were rented out or occupied when the fire broke out, but Henderson said the American Red Cross was assisting those who needed shelter. A third building is so badly damaged it may have to be razed, too, but it’s not a threat to topple into the street, Henderson said. “It’s like losing a family member,” Homestead Mayor Betty Esper told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review at the scene. “I feel so sorry for the business people who are trying so hard to bring this area back together.” Henderson said county officials are working with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration to see whether any of the landlords or business owners might qualify for low-interest loans or other financial assistance.

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