Allegheny Building Reopens A Month After Fire Next Door

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A month after it was shut down due to a fire next door, a Downtown building reopened today.

The Allegheny Building officially reopened at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

On July 30, a six-alarm fire broke out at the former Macy’s building. The fire is believed to have started in an electrical vault in the basement and spread through an elevator shaft.

The fire knocked out power and forced evacuations at the Allegheny Building.

Tenants in the building include attorneys, insurance companies, Crazy Mocha and The Apollo Café.

“This was all out of everyone’s control. I didn’t think I’d be out this long, so it was just a nightmare every week that passed by,” The Apollo Café Owner Tina Hammerling said.

They were offered space across the street and in other locations that are owned by the building developer while repairs were made.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option for Hammerling.

“Everything was in stages. Our electricity went out, which blew out the water pump, which blew out all the water in the building,” Hammerling said. “We were allowed in Wednesdays and we tried to do as much cleaning as we could those four hours.”

Customers were just as excited for the restaurant’s reopening.

“It’s been sad for me to miss Tina and Cathy and their good food, but to think about them and not be able to come to work and not know when they could come back, how awful it would’ve been,” customer Lee Anderson said.

While it’s business as usual for some, others are still dealing with the effects of the closure.

Tina Altavilla owns Alta Villa Salon and Spa on the fifth floor. She said she wasn’t allowed back in the building until today and cleanup is going to take a while.

She said the carpet is moldy and the air is so damp it’s not possible to provide services.

Altavilla hasn’t had a lot of luck with her insurance either and repeated attempts to contact the building’s owner, King Penguin, have turned up empty.

KDKA-TV reached out to the company Wednesday morning and has not yet received a return call or email.

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