REPUBLIC (KDKA) – Nearly two dozen fire companies were called out to battle a fire in Fayette County.
Heavy flames and thick smoke poured out of a building along Main Street in Republic Sunday night.
“Upon our arrival, fire was already through the roof. Search didn’t show any occupants of the structure,” Republic Fire Chief John Duke said.
Once firefighters knew no one was trapped inside, they started tackling the flames from the ground and from above.
Ladder trucks were brought in along with lots of manpower.
“The reason for so many is our efforts were hampered by the rocks and debris in the water lines and also poor water pressure. We’ve broken a couple of lines already and we’re utilizing tankers to the best of our ability,” Chief Duke said.
Firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to surrounding homes and businesses, but they weren’t able to save the building where the fire started.
The building had been used as a liquor store and supermarket, but was mostly recently divided into apartments.
“It will definitely be a total loss. We’ve already had full roof collapse on one level and we’re on the second level now trying to control the fire there,” Chief Duke said.
Neighbors said they believe all the apartments were vacant. However, firefighters said gas and electricity were up and running in the building.
A State Police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.
There are no reported injuries.