Investigation: Fire Chief Allegedly Showed Up Drunk To Scene
PORT VUE (KDKA) — A local Fire Chief may lose his job after Port Vue police say he showed up to a fire scene drunk.
Port Vue’s Fire Chief Cash Cortazzo was ordered to stand summary trial on charges of public drunkenness stemming from his alleged actions during a blaze near the fire hall.
On September 17th, volunteer firefighters rushed into action to put out a house fire on Tacoma Avenue.
But police say the 24-year-old was allegedly stumbling and incoherent.
A police officer on scene ordered him to leave.
Police Chief Bryan Myers says it didn’t take long to notice Cortazzo was intoxicated.
“A little bit into the operations of the fire, my officer noticed a strong smell of alcohol smell coming off of Cortazzo and relieved him of his duties,” Myers says.
Police obtained the audio 911 recording of Cortazzo interacting with dispatchers, in which he allegedly is slurring and disoriented.
This isn’t the first time Cortazzo has been in trouble.
In July, Cortazzo was arrested for DUI in Cecil Township with a blood alcohol level of over 0.16.
“Public safety is the biggest issue. You don’t want somebody being in charge of a group of guys, going into a fire, or whatever situation, that isn’t capable at that point of doing it,” Myers said.
On top of police investigation, the fire department has a committee that’s doing an internal investigation as well.
The borough will hold a meeting in the coming weeks discussing whether Cortazzo will stay on as chief.
Cortazzo’s father, Frank, will be at that meeting given his current position as a council member.
Meanwhile, Cash Cortazzo is scheduled in court November 18th.