Allegheny County Emergency Services dispatched units to a residential structure fire with possible entrapment on January 23, 2015, on the 200 block of East Eighth Avenue in Homestead Borough. Units arrived to a three-story commercial structure with two victims trapped on the upper floors. A second alarm was requested and firefighters made a quick rescue. Both victims were transported to UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. The fire spread to two additional exposures on the bravo and delta sides and additional alarms were added. The fire then traveled to exposures on the delta side. Fire crews were forced to evacuate the structures due to the possiblility of collapse; one structure did collapse. Over 22 departments responded to the fire, which grew to seven alarms, and many more were called for coverage. Allegheny County and ATF investigators arrested a 27-year-old man who was charged with multiple counts of arson, aggravated assault and risking or causing a catastrophe. The fire destroyed five businesses and nine apartments in an historic district.
– Fire News photo by Eric Rasmussen