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Child Presumed Dead In McKeesport F...

By Heather Abraham - KDKA MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – A child is presumed dead in a fire that destroyed three homes and damaged another Sunday night. Ac...

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Family Escapes Shaler House Fire

By Christine D'Antonio - KDKA SHALER (KDKA) – A Shaler family safely escaped their burning home early Monday morning. According to officials at ...

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Firefighters Save Wedding, Prom Dre...

By Lynne Hayes-Freeland - KDKA Firefighters saved some very special dresses from the scene of an apartment fire in Verona. It started Sunday eve...

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Train Hits, Kills Firefighter Durin...

By Ralph Iannotti - KDKA NORTH VERSAILLES (KDKA) — The search for a missing Wilmerding woman took a tragic turn Saturday evening when a local volun...

Incidents

032414-mckeesport-fatal

Child Presumed Dead In McKeesport Fire

By Heather Abraham - KDKA MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – A child is presumed dead in a fire that destroyed three homes and damaged another Sunday ni...

Fire News

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Cameras on fire helmets raising privacy concerns

By Molly Born - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette There are reasons it might be helpful to put cameras on f...

Police News

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State police probing possible cheating on local police recertification tests

By Carl Prine - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Pennsylvania State Police are investigating allegations of cheating by more than 30 municipal p...

EMS News

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Paramedics aim to educate North Huntingdon residents

By Tony LaRussa - Norwin Star Paramedics in North Huntingdon have added a new service that goes beyond responding quickly to calls for he...

Blog

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Helmet Cam Footage From 108 Bellevue Truck Crew

By HoopieWorld.com / Video by 108 Captain - Glenn Pritchard On Wednesday, January 15th, 2014, crews were dispatched for a working residen...

Child Presumed Dead In McKeesport Fire

032414-mckeesport-fatalBy Heather Abraham – KDKA

MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – A child is presumed dead in a fire that destroyed three homes and damaged another Sunday night.

According to officials at the scene, the fire broke out at a home on Soles Street and quickly spread to three adjacent homes.

Four families have been displaced as a result of the fire.

Firefighters started to search for a child that may have been inside one of the homes.

However, the intense flames forced them to pull back.

A woman lived in the house with her two children along with her sister and her two children. She was watching the kids and the child that is presumed dead is the child of her sister.

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Family Escapes Shaler House Fire

032414-shaler-fireBy Christine D’Antonio – KDKA

SHALER (KDKA) – A Shaler family safely escaped their burning home early Monday morning.

According to officials at the scene, the fire broke out at a home in the 100-block of Convent Avenue around 3:30 a.m.

A woman, her son and another man were able to escape.

The son received minor burns and was taken to a local hospital, where he is expected to make a full recovery.

The man and woman escaped without injury along with their dog and cat.

The majority of the damage appeared to be on the second floor in the back section of the home.

At one point, the home was fully engulfed in flames. However, firefighters from numerous agencies were able to knock the flames down quickly.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Read more: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/03/24/family-escapes-shaler-house-fire/

Firefighters Save Wedding, Prom Dresses From Verona Fire

032414-verona-fireBy Lynne Hayes-Freeland – KDKA

Firefighters saved some very special dresses from the scene of an apartment fire in Verona.

It started Sunday evening at an apartment building above Gloria’s Fixations, an alteration shop, on East Railroad Avenue.

But as firefighters worked to put out the blaze, they also made sure to save some things from the bottom floor of the building: wedding and prom dresses that were being altered.

“There was a wedding in about … a week-and-a-half,” said Verona Mayor Dave Ricupero, “and the dresses were all in there and they went in there and they saved the dress.”

The fire was contained to the second floor, but firefighters from three communities worked to put it out.

“It was a hot fire before we got here, it was rolling pretty good,” said Verona Fire Chief Ray Suchevich. “So we got a lot of fire knocked down before we could get inside and then once we got inside, the roof collapsed, so we had to pull our guys out.”

Many of the dresses have smoke damage and it’s unclear if they can be saved, but it’s better than them going up in flames.

Suchevich says the prom dresses can be replaced, since most dances aren’t until May, but firefighters felt it was especially important to grab the wedding dresses.

“We felt it was important to get the wedding dresses to see if we could save those, because the wedding is in two weeks,” he said.

The Red Cross is also providing clothing, shelter and food for three adults and one child who lived above the shop.

Read more: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/03/23/firefighters-fight-blaze-at-verona-apartment/

Train Hits, Kills Firefighter During Search For Missing Woman

032214-youngwood-loddBy Ralph Iannotti – KDKA

NORTH VERSAILLES (KDKA) — The search for a missing Wilmerding woman took a tragic turn Saturday evening when a local volunteer firefighter, who was part of the search crew, was struck by a train and killed.

Edwin J. “Lance” Wentzel, 57, was a 35-year veteran of the Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department in Westmoreland County. He was hit from behind by a Norfolk Southern freight train.

Wentzel was part of a team from the fire department that brought canines in to help in the search for 55-year-old Ruth Mullennix of Wilmerding. She hasn’t been seen since Monday night.

Swissvale Police contacted the fire department for help.

The search area was near the railroad tracks beneath the Westinghouse Bridge in North Versailles. Mullennix’s coat and cell phone were found Thursday in a rail yard beneath the bridge.

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Elderly Woman Killed In Richland Twp. House Fire

032214-richlandtwpBy Bob Allen – KDKA

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An elderly woman was killed and her daughters hospitalized after an intense fire consumed a home overnight (Saturday) in Richland Township.

A huge cloud of thick smoke poured from the home in the 1000-block of Woodhill Drive.

Neighbors say the fire started around 3 a.m. with flames quickly engulfing the residence.

“There were a couple of explosions,” said Robert Maker, a neighbor. “Apparently, there were some oxygen tanks inside, and that woke us up. Then, we came out and the house was pretty much fully engulfed.”

“We just heard a big bang,” added Hanna Clogan, another neighbor. “We thought it was gunshots, and I look out my window and I just see the house on fire.”

An elderly woman and her two daughters were inside when the fire started.

Neighbors say 95-year-old Evelyn Provost was trapped in an upstairs bedroom.

“The one lady was screaming help and running around like door to door, screaming help,” neighbor Jenna Peluso said.

The fire was so intense, one of the victim’s daughters jumped from a bedroom window on the other side of the chimney. She landed on an air conditioner below and was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital.

The combination of exploding oxygen tanks and extreme heat forced firefighters to keep their distance as they brought the flames under control.

Both of the victim’s daughters were hospitalized.

“They were just very nice people, very quiet,” said Maker. “The daughters took very good care of their mother and she was just a very sweet lady.”

“She was a very kindhearted lady and she’s going to be very missed,” Clogan said.

Meanwhile, a man was also treated at the scene of a fire in Springfield Township, Mercer County overnight.

It’s believed the fire started in the living room of his Cannery Road home around 3 a.m.

Read more: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/03/22/fire-consumes-2-homes-overnight/

Cameras on fire helmets raising privacy concerns

hw-logoBy Molly Born – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

There are reasons it might be helpful to put cameras on firefighters’ helmets: It could help with investigations or training and even serve as a third-party observer during a blaze.

But North Versailles Commissioner Russell Saula can’t get out of his head all the bad things that could happen with the helmet-mounted cameras. A firefighter, he said, could easily videotape a prized coin collection or confidential paper on the dining room table. Or worse.

“I don’t want somebody coming in my house and filming,” he said this week. “My wife might be in her negligee. Who knows where these tapes are going afterward?”

Because of that and other commissioners’ worries, township leaders on Thursday voted to forbid firefighters from using any audio and video recording equipment while battling a blaze.

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North Versailles commissioners ban firefighters’ helmet cams

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By  Anne Cloonan – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A new ordinance in North Versailles highlights an ongoing dispute between two township fire departments.

On Thursday night, the North Versailles commissioners passed the ordinance banning the making of audio and video recordings by township firefighters when they are fighting fires.

Helmet cams will no longer be allowed. The ordinance also states that firefighters who continue to use helmet cams will lose their right to serve the township as firefighters.

Commissioners George Thompson, Frank Bivins, Russell Saula, Vincent Paradine and Sam Juliano voted for the ordinance, and commissioners George Beswick and Daryl Mitchell voted against it.

During discussion before the vote, Mr. Saula said firefighters filming something of a private nature could expose the township to liability.

Township solicitor Greg Evashavik said the township wouldn’t be responsible for that because it would be the fire departments, not the township, who would be videotaping.

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Vehicle Accident Involving Penn Dot Truck

030314-lincoln-blvd-2Story / pictures by HoopieWorld.com

On Sunday afternoon, March 2nd, crews were dispatched to a reported accident with injuries on Lincoln Blvd near the Coursin Rd intersection in Lincoln Borough.

Lincoln Engine 184 arrived to find a full-size Ford pickup that ran into the back of a Penn Dot dump truck that was parked on the shoulder of the road.  The accident occurred closer to the Lincoln / Glassport border and was actually in Glassport.

The driver of the pickup truck was treated on scene and transported to a local hospital due to injuries sustained in the crash.

The Penn Dot truck driver was not in the truck when the crash occurred and was uninjured.

One lane of traffic was blocked for a short time while EMS attended to the patient and Glassport & Lincoln PDs investigated the crash.  Crews cleared in about an hour.

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Attic fire destroys home in West Deer

030314-west-deer-house fireBy Braden Ashe / photo by Dan Speiche – Valley News Dispatch

A West Deer house fire on Sunday brought five fire departments to Marshall Street where low water pressure kept crews from extinguishing the flames before the roof collapsed.

No one was injured in the fire, which burned for a little more than an hour before crews flooded the roof from a 75-foot aerial ladder, according to Chief Steve McCorkle of West Deer Fire Company No. 2. Homeowner Tom Ingold reported the fire about 2 p.m. He declined to comment.

Neighbor Dana Wangler said he saw small wisps of black smoke escaping from the attic as he went to investigate Ingold’s cries for help. From across the street, he could hear a “soft crackling sound, like a bonfire” emanating from the house.

“I saw (Ingold) try to get back in his house,” Wangler said. “As soon as he got to the door, he just turned around. That’s when I knew it was going to be bad.”

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Hovercraft to ease river rescue operations

030314-pittsburgh-hovercraftBy Margaret Harding / photo by Stephanie Strasburg – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The latest ship in the Pittsburgh fleet of ice rescue crafts looked like it was plucked from the set of a science fiction movie and set loose on an abandoned baseball field in Highland Park.

The hovercraft, piloted by Pittsburgh police Officer Sam Muoio, lifts about a foot off the ground by pushing air into fabric pockets beneath it, sending up a cloud of snow as it speeds over the weedy lot in its inaugural trip in Pittsburgh last week.

Muoio, an airplane pilot and one of the officers assigned to River Rescue, discovered the craft doesn’t care for quick turns or high weeds.

“There’s no brakes,” Muoio said. “It doesn’t stop like a car, and it doesn’t turn like a boat. It’s like flying an airplane 12 inches off the ground.”

The city used a Department of Homeland Security grant to cover 75 percent of the $93,425 cost for the Hoverguard 1000 from a Michigan company, said Ray DeMichiei, deputy director of the Department of Emergency Management.

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