By Brian Bowling – photo by Andrew Russell – Trib Total Media
Sitting on a doorstep across the street from his burning home in Swissvale, Larry Knox said he was glad everyone got safely out of the three-story apartment building.
“Thank God, I’m out of there,” said Knox, who is visually impaired. “This young man named James on the second floor came and got me.”
Two firefighters suffered injuries while battling the four-alarm blaze on Saturday in the 2000 block of Monongahela Avenue, said fire Chief Clyde Wilhelm. He said he had no reports of any residents being injured.
Firefighters thought at first they had a roof fire, Wilhelm said. As it turned out, the blaze probably started on the second floor but quickly spread through the voids between the exterior and interior walls to the third floor.
An Allegheny County fire marshal is investigating the cause, he said.
One firefighter went by ambulance to UPMC Mercy for treatment of second- and third-degree burns on his neck, Wilhelm said. Emergency medical techs treated the other firefighter at the scene for minor injuries, he said.
Wilhelm asked Duquesne Light Co. to cut power to the neighborhood because high-voltage power lines pass in front of the building and posed a hazard to firefighters, he said.
By Trina Orlando – KDKA
SWISSVALE (KDKA) – Firefighters were called to Swissvale Thursday morning due to two homes being on fire.
According to emergency dispatchers, the fire started in the 2300-block of Milligan Avenue.
There are no reports of injuries, but the fire may be threatening a third home.
By Heidi Dezayas – ForestHills-RegentSquare Patch
No one was injured after a two-alarm fire on Florence Avenue in Swissvale Wednesday morning.
Firefighters from Swissvale, Edgewood, Forest Hills, North Braddock and Homestead were called to the scene just after 9.
Swissvale fire Chief Clyde Wilhelm said the fire, which started in the kitchen, was quickly extinguished. No one was home at the time.
The unit is not livable, and the Red Cross will be assisting one resident.
Neighbors were evacuated, but Wilhelm said the fire didn’t spread to their units. Many were waiting outside in their pajamas.
By Annie Siebert / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Elected officials in Braddock Hills say they’re seeking fire services from nearby municipalities because their all-volunteer department is fizzling out.
Concern grew last month after a house caught fire on Park Avenue in Braddock Hills, across the street from the borough’s volunteer fire department, and Braddock Hills firefighters failed to respond to the call. Responders from neighboring municipalities put out the blaze.
Braddock Hills council in February sought proposals from Swissvale and Forest Hills fire departments to respond to calls in the borough.
Swissvale fire Chief Clyde Wilhelm presented a written proposal to Braddock Hills’ council in March.
The 11-page document said Swissvale’s fire department, a combination of paid and volunteer firefighters, has “responded to and assisted Braddock Hills” with more than half of Braddock Hills’ 50 to 55 annual fire calls over the past few years.
The proposal called for Braddock Hills to pay the Swissvale department an annual fee of $18,750 this year, $25,000 in 2014 and 2015, and $25,750 in 2016 and 2017.
Forest Hills manager Steve Morus said council wrote a letter to Braddock Hills officials last week indicating council members are willing to discuss the possibility of handling the borough’s fire calls but has yet to submit a proposal.
By William McCloskey – foresthills-regentsquare.patch.com
It’s been a long time coming and this month Swissvale’s unusual combined professional and volunteer fire companies consolidate under one roof with the dedication of a brand-new fire station at Monongahela Avenue and Irvine Street.
At the same time, the firefighters will roll out their new and much-needed Spartan ERV 103-foot aerial ladder truck. The new unit replaces Swissvale’s principal fire rig, a Seagrave ladder truck, that is 37 years old and already was 21 years old when the borough bought it used.
Sept. 29 is the planned date for both the fire station and fire truck inaugurals. Fire-related festivities in Swissvale will continue Oct. 7 with a fire prevention open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When talking about firefighters in Swissvale, it’s important to not confuse “volunteer” with “amateur.” The Swissvale Volunteer Fire Co. has a long, rich history of accomplishment. Its members are some of the most dedicated and talented to be found—it’s just that they don’t do it for a living.