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10 left homeless in West Mifflin fire

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Ed Thompson | For Trib Total Media
A firefighter battles a blaze on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, at Mon View Heights in West Mifflin.

A West Mifflin fire chief said Thursday's fire that left 10 people homeless in the Mon View Heights housing development definitely is suspicious.

“It started on the outside of the building,” Homeville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Chief David Martin said Friday.

His company spent 3½ hours battling the blaze along Midway Drive in the private development near the Whitaker borough line.

“The whole rear of the building was on fire when we arrived, from the porch up to the roof,” Martin said.

In addition, the construction of the roof — or, more accurately, Martin said, two roofs, one flat, the other a pitch roof on top — made it difficult for firefighters from his and eight other companies.

The Allegheny County Fire Marshal's office is continuing what spokeswoman Amie Downs called “an active investigation” of the fire.

Downs said she does not expect a report until sometime next week.

There were no injuries in the blaze, which was discovered shortly after 7 p.m., then reported to be under control about an hour later, though some units remained on the scene to deal with hot spots.

Ten members of three families affected by the fire were given food, clothing and shelter assistance by the American Red Cross Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter. Kevin Brown, interim regional Red Cross communications director, said that includes five adults and five children.

Martin said most of the damage was to the roof area, with smoke and water damage to apartments underneath.

Homeville volunteers were assisted by Duquesne Annex No. 2 and West Mifflin No. 3, Munhall No. 1 and No. 5, Homestead, Whitaker, Duquesne and Glassport companies.

Glassport was there to provide rapid intervention if necessary, while Munhall No. 1 provided rehab assistance as needed to other firefighters.

West Mifflin police, Baldwin EMS and The Salvation Army had units on the scene.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or [email protected].

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