JEANNETTE (KDKA) — Residents are on alert as Westmoreland County authorities continue to investigate another fire at an abandoned home in Jeannette.
The fire on Friday night in the 300-block of Chestnut Street was the 14th since October of 2010.
“Hopefully, there’s an end in sight,” Capt. Chuck Miller, of the Jeannette Fire Department, said. “Our guys are starting to get beat down from this. They’re picking up the pace, and it’s costly.”
The cost was higher Friday night because a firefighter was injured by flying glass when the front window of the structure blew out.
“It was a freak accident. He had all his gear on; it just happened to catch him in the side of the neck, cut him pretty good,” said Capt. Miller.
The rash of suspicious fires has also taken a toll on the public, Capt. Miller worries about one spreading to an occupied home.
“We’ve gotten lucky; all the structures have been vacant, nothing next to them except for one, and that is always a concern,” he said.
It’s been enough to make neighbor Ed Czerpak nervous.
“Somebody could do it to me, and I could be sleeping, you know,” Czerpak said. “You can’t trust nobody today.”
Curtis Brown is also worried that someone in Jeannette is starting fires.
“They need to go to jail because somebody’s parents or kids could be in that house, you don’t know,” Brown added.
“Hopefully, whoever is doing it – since a firefighter got hurt – realizes they’re really putting peoples’ lives in danger,” Capt. Miller said.
Fire officials in Jeannette are confident that whoever is starting these fires is eventually going to make a mistake.
They also say it’s time for the public to get involved. If you see anything or anyone that looks suspicious, don’t hesitate to call 911.