Stubborn Roscoe fire injures seven

June 23, 2013
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
Smoke billows from a Roscoe apartment building where seven people were injured during a Saturday blaze. Order a Print
Image description
Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
Firefighters prepare Saturday night to attack flames inside Roscoe Laundomat, part of an apartment building in the borough that caught fire for the second time since November. Order a Print

ROSCOE – Seven people, including three firefighters, were injured in a stubborn blaze at a Roscoe apartment building Saturday in what was the second fire to hit the structure since November.

None of the injuries were considered life threatening and all involved smoke inhalation or heat exhaustion, Roscoe fire Chief Todd Mauk said Sunday.

“This one was significantly worse,” he said of the 9:30 p.m. fire that started in the basement of Central Apartments at 600 Furlong Ave. and spread into the first floor.

Several cats and dogs also perished in the fire, and the American Red Cross was working to find shelter for the dozen occupants who were evacuated from the three-story building, Mauk said. He did not identify those injured during the fire.

Resident Paul Niehaus said his deaf neighbor, known only to him as Larry, was flown by helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital.

“There was so much smoke I couldn’t see,” Niehaus said at the scene, clutching a cat. “I had to go down the fire escape.”

Mauk said a state police fire marshal is investigating.

He added the fire was difficult to fight because of the building’s age and renovations.

A fire Nov. 15 traced to a faulty space heater forced 27 people from their apartments in the building owned by Tim Rex of Carmichaels.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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