A traffic accident and weather problems tied up a number of Mon-Yough area roads on Wednesday.
Shortly before noon a car collided with a tractor-trailer along Route 837 near the juncture with New England and Coal Hollow roads in West Mifflin.
Police said there were no serious injuries in the crash, which occurred under a railroad overpass near the Valley Hotel. Police and emergency crews from West Mifflin, Pleasant Hills and Jefferson Hills were called to the scene.
The intersection was closed to clean up the accident scene, resulting in backups between Lebanon School Road and the Clairton-Glassport Bridge. For a time, the backup for southbound traffic on Route 837 extended toward the W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge in Dravosburg.
One possible alternative route, Curry Hollow Road, was closed to motorists because of a collapsed 60-inch corrugated metal culvert.
Four families escaped an apartment fire in West Mifflin Wednesday night.
“My wife and I were eating dinner, and we’re sitting on the couch and smelled something funny. We saw smoke coming out underneath our table,” said Eric Kimak, who lives in the apartment on McGowan Avenue.
Kimak and his wife wasted no time. They grabbed their children and made their way to the first floor.
“My wife ran downstairs to get her mother-in-law and everybody out of the building while the neighbor and I started checking everything. We got the fire extinguisher,” said Kimak.
Four families stood in the cold as firefighters checked for hotspots in their apartment building. A good deal of the fire was out when they arrived, Channel 11’s Courtney Brennan reported.
“We have an 18-month-old baby, and he’s sick. He just went to see the doctor today. My wife was in a panic to get everybody out,” said Kimak.
A building inspector will visit the building Thursday morning.
Residents are hoping to be back in their apartments soon. For now, the American Red Cross is assisting the families.
West Mifflin police, firefighters and the Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s office continue to investigate the cause of a house fire along Sylvan Avenue.
Authorities at the scene declined to speculate if fireworks may have sparked the Thursday night blaze.
Homeowner Bill Margita told Trib Total Media news exchange partner WPXI-11 that he planned to fix the vacant home and sell it to his daughter. He said he believed the blaze was caused by fireworks.
“There was a tree in the side back there, in the back porch, that’s gone,” Margita said. “It looks like that tree must have caught the house on fire and burned up the back of the house. That’s why I’m thinking the fireworks came off the hill and did it.”
The house had working utilities that were disconnected as part of firefighters’ response to the blaze.
“I think about other people, what they lose, so I guess I’m in the category with one of them that’s supposed to lose. As long as I got a job, that’s all that counts. This stuff, I can always collect again,” Margita said.