Electrical fire that heavily damaged Tarentum business ruled accidental |

Electrical fire that heavily damaged Tarentum business ruled accidental

Chuck Biedka
Tarentum police look on late Tuesday night as fire personnel (not shown) at the rear of this building on East Sixth Avenue tried to determine the origin of smoke coming from it late Tuesday. Two people living in a second-floor apartment got out safely. March 21, 2017

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]

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.