Lower Burrell home damaged in fire
A Lower Burrell home was destroyed by fire Saturday morning.
Homeowner John Marencik was not injured in the blaze that consumed his log cabin-style house at 970 Hartge Road, according to Mark Marmo, chief of Lower Burrell No. 3 Volunteer Fire Company.
Marmo said the fire began about 5:40 a.m. on a deck attached to the house, which is near Route 780 on the border with Upper Burrell.
Marmo suspects an electrical problem caused the fire, but a state police fire marshal was expected to inspect the damage on Monday. Marmo said the fire was accidental and is not believed to be suspicious.
Marmo said Marencik was the only one in the house and was lucky to escape unharmed: “He said he was sleeping when the surveillance system started to beep because the power went out (because of the fire). He’s very fortunate.”
Marmo said the front of the house was engulfed when he arrived and flames spread rapidly through the building’s wooden elements.
“It was an inferno,” he said.
It took firefighters from both Lower Burrell companies plus Arnold, New Kensington and Upper Burrell about an hour to extinguish the fire.
The metal roof that held in the fire’s heat and didn’t let the flames naturally ventilate didn’t help matters, Marmo said. “It was like a boiling pot with a lid on it.”
Marmo said the house was insured.
Marencik could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
This is the second major fire Marencik has experienced. In 1998, a fire devastated the building that housed his Big Foot trucking and log home businesses along Greensburg Road in Upper Burrell.
“Lightning struck twice here, unfortunately,” Marmo said.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or [email protected].