PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A laptop battery is believed to have sparked a fire that damaged a PennDOT garage and temporarily closed part of the Parkway West.
Crews were first called out around 1:45 a.m. after reports of smoke in the area. Firefighters could be seen using ladders to reach the roof of the garage.
The garage is located just off the Parkway West as it approaches the Fort Pitt Tunnel, near the interchange for Saw Mill Run Boulevard.
“It was on a charger so it must have overheated,” PennDOT Fort Pitt Tunnel Manager Ben DeVore said. “The laptop was in that room and it spread to the supplies that were in that room.”
DeVore said the fire was in a room that housed supplies such as protective gear and cleaning products.
No PennDOT employees were in the building when the fire started.
“With the fire getting to the roof, they had a concern about the whole building going up at that point,” DeVore said. “It was contained to just that one room. It very easily could’ve been much worse, just because we have equipment and trucks in this garage.”
All westbound lanes of Interstate 376 were closed approaching the tunnel on the Fort Pitt Bridge.
“In the interest of safety, we closed the Parkway so that those trucks could access the site. It’s one way in and one way out, so anytime they needed to get in or out we needed to stop traffic,” DeVore said.
The lanes were reopened by 3:30 a.m.
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