By Bob Allen

MCCANDLESS (KDKA) – Firefighters fought flames and frigid temperatures when an auto repair shop in McCandless caught fire Monday morning.

However, high winds and bitter cold temperatures didn’t stop firefighters from saving the business in the 8100-block of Perry Highway.

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“We had the back of the structure. There were flames coming from a large window in the back of the structure when we got here,” Highland Volunteer Fire Department Chief Shawn O’Brien said.

Fortunately, no one was in the building when the fire started.

Business owner Ray Platt said he got a call from police that his business was burning.

“Hard to believe. I don’t know what happened or what caused it,” Platt said.

There was one car in the garage, but it’s not known how badly it was damaged.

Firefighters removed some acetylene torches and chemicals and other hazards from the shop. The biggest challenge was keeping warm in the sub-freezing temperatures.

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They got some help from a school bus provided by the North Allegheny County District

“We’re rotating our crews though the school bus to warm up. They’re doing okay. They’re probably warmer than I am with their gear on,” Chief O’Brien said.

Chief O’Brien said there were no major problems with water lines and the county fire marshal is investigating the cause.

Meanwhile, Platt promises he will be back in business.

“I’ll be slowed down here, but we’ll get back at it,” Platt said.

Platt did get some good news from the fire department. Firefighters were able to save records and other office materials, which will be a great help in his effort to restore his business.


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