MCKEES ROCKS (KDKA) – Firefighters battled a five-alarm fire in McKees Rocks Wednesday morning.
According to officials at the scene, the fire broke out in the 700-block of Yunker Street around 7:40 a.m.
The building was used as storage from some of Linders Furniture Antiques and Persian Rugs’ inventory.
“It’s very sad,” owner Ken Ashtari said. “You know your whole life — my life –25 years of selection is gone.”
The showroom, which also houses many of the business’ rugs and antiques is located across the street and was not harmed.
When crews arrived at the scene, flames were already shooting out of the building.
Ashtari just watched as water poured off of, and smoke out of, part of his McKees Rocks business.
“[At] 7:30 a.m. they called me, told me the building was on fire,” he said. “I didn’t know which one it is so I came 100 miles an hour to get here.”
Once there, he saw firefighters from multiple companies trying to save what they could.
“Carpet was piled high against the door and was blazing rather well,” McKees Rocks Fire Chief Nick Radoycis said. “Fire was spreading into the actual church as well. We sounded five alarms.”
Once the fire was finally out, the damage assessment for this well know business and respected owner was sobering.
“The building is probably substantially destroyed, their inventory I have no idea, but it’s gonna be expensive, Radoycis said. “They were all collectables, antiques a lot of them.”
“You cannot replace some of these at all,” Ashtari said. “It’s stuff you accumulate over the years and you had it, but now it’s gone.”
Ashtari said he may have to lay off five employees as a result of the fire.
Authorities are not sure what started it.