NORTH HUNTINGDON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Police are investigating a suspicious fire that started Saturday morning in Westmoreland County.
North Huntingdon Police continue to interview witnesses and sort through several accounts of what possibly took place, believing at this point that the fire is suspicious.
They are still trying to determine how it started and if it was set, was it intentional.
The fire started in the outbuilding behind the home in the 2300-block of Scotch Hill Road No. 1.
It’s used for storage, and sometimes as a hangout for the teen boys who live there, according to neighbors. The flames were out of control as fire crews arrived just before 6 a.m.
“By the time we got here, it was completely on fire though,” said Chief William Hardy, of the Larimer Fire Department. “It was hard to even tell it was two stories when we got here. While we were putting it out, it did end up collapsing.”
“I couldn’t even get close to the building, the flames were so high and the heat was so intense,” said George Sharp, Jr., a neighbor. “You see these things on TV, and you never think, ‘wow,’ until you’re involved in something like this.”
North Huntingdon Police say there are a lot of questions about what happened.
They believe that one of the homeowner’s sons was hanging out with a few friends Friday night. Neighbors told police that one of those friends was seen outside the building at the time of the fire, possibly intoxicated.
But it’s not clear if he was at all involved.
“We heard some ruckus over here as far as kids having a good time, never thought anything of it. The neighbor straight across from here was actually disturbed by it and asked them to quiet it down,” said Sharp.
What police do know is that two boys were inside the building when the fire happened, their lives at risk.
No arrests have been made. Police weren’t quick to file charges, not knowing the how’s and why’s.
Several people, including two teens, were taken to the Forbes Regional Hospital for treatment of injuries. It does not appear that their injuries are directly related to the fire.
Police say one firefighter was treated for an injury.
“Everybody just hugging and just thankful everyone’s okay,” Sharp added. “Things can be replaced, people cannot.”
North Huntingdon Police and fire investigators continue to probe the incident.