Fire destroys Industry snow plowing equipment, supplies |

Fire destroys Industry snow plowing equipment, supplies

James Knox | Tribune-Review
Beaver Borough Manager Chuck Copeland surveys the damage on Friday, February 28, 2014, after a fire destroyed the entire Industry Borough's maintenance department ahead of Sunday's projected snowstorm.

Offers of salt, equipment and manpower poured into Industry hours after a fire on Friday destroyed the borough’s maintenance building and snow-fighting equipment, just days before a major winter storm was to hit Western Pennsylvania.

Unity in Westmoreland County diverted nearly 23 tons of salt from its stockpile to Industry, at a cost of about $1,150, when officials there heard about the fire.

“It was the right thing to do,” Supervisor Chairman Michael O’Barto said.

PennDOT delivered between 15 and 20 tons of salt, council members said.

Two members of Beaver’s road crew put up barrels and police tape to rope off the smoldering rubble because Industry lacks the equipment to do so.

“If we were in the same situation, they would help us,” said Beaver Manager Charles Copeland II.

Industry, with about 1,850 residents, has one full-time road worker and two part-time ones.

Industry is responsible for plowing 11.5 miles of roads, officials said, though not the community’s main road, Route 68, which is state-owned.

The fire destroyed the borough’s maintenance building, adjacent to the borough’s community park, and an adjoining wooden shelter that stored road salt.

A state police fire marshal was investigating the cause of the fire, first reported at 1:30 a.m. Friday.

The metal-frame maintenance building contained two dump trucks, along with their plows and salt spreaders, a pickup truck, a backhoe, two grass mowers and other equipment — all destroyed.

A stockpile of about 50 tons of salt and sand could not be salvaged because it was contaminated by debris, including nails, and water turned it into a solid.

“After this weekend, we can sit back and look at the big picture, but for now, we have to be ready for whatever’s coming,” said Mayor Nick Yanosich.

The borough is insured for the loss, which is expected to total several hundred thousand dollars. The borough bought one truck last year, and it had just 2,500 miles on it.

The fire also slightly damaged a metal storage building that just had been erected on Thursday.

“We were going to store equipment in there,” council member Joe Mulach said.

No injuries were reported. Six Beaver County fire departments responded to the blaze.

Municipalities, including Midland, Beaver and Ohioville, offered emergency assistance.

“I can’t even begin to list everyone that’s offered to help,” borough Councilman Andy Zachodni said. “I swear it’s been everybody in Beaver County, and people from outside the county. Everybody’s offering to help.”

Dille and council President Keith Hohenshel said the borough has subcontractors it could use to clear the roads. Because of insurance issues, the men said, they didn’t want residents plowing roads themselves.

The weekend forecast is calling for 6 or more inches of snow beginning on Sunday into Monday, with the possibility of ice and sleet.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 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.