Electrical fire that heavily damaged Tarentum business ruled accidental
A fire that heavily damaged a Tarentum electronics repair shop late Tuesday was determined to be accidental by investigators for the Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s Office.
No one was injured in the blaze at Tarentum Repair Pro, which was discovered just after 11 p.m. by an occupant of the two-story, former bank building in the 300 block of East Sixth Avenue.
County Emergency Services Chief Matt Brown said there was an electrical failure caused by an energized power strip in the rear office.
The old bank building was constructed of concrete and brick.
“This aided in extremely high temperatures being held inside the building, adding to the damages,” Brown said.
Highland Hose fire Chief Terry Chambon said about 25 firefighters from all three Tarentum volunteer departments battled the blaze.
Chambon said it took about 90 minutes to extinguish the fire and check for hot spots.
The fire appears to have started in a technician’s work area and spread from there.
“There were a lot of cubicles on the first floor, and that complicated fighting the fire,” Chambon said.
He said downstairs was gutted, and there was some damage to offices upstairs.
Chambon couldn’t estimate how much the fire destroyed.
“This was an electronics shop,” he said. “The cost estimate has to be in the high numbers.”
A deputy fire marshal was at the scene with Highland Hose firefighters until about 3 a.m. Wednesday.
County records put the value of the building alone at about $85,500.
The commercial building is owned by Jay Bandaru. He said he has insurance.
He declined to identify the repair shop owner, whom he said also has insurance. Bandaru declined to comment until he can talk to an insurance company.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711 or [email protected]