PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Firefighters spent Saturday morning and afternoon responding to a very smokey fire in Beaver County.

It started before 11 a.m. at a commercial building in the 500-block of Merchant Street in Ambridge.

The area quickly filled up with thick, blinding smoke.

“When we got here, there was heavy smoke,” said Ambridge Fire Chief Dave Drewnowski. “It spread to the second building, there was a gentleman hanging out the window with black smoke coming out.”

Peter Galvin saw Karl Lamotto screaming for help as the fire spread to the building next door. He then watched firefighters make a dramatic rescue.

He says a firefighter climbed up to the window and carried the man down and put him in an ambulance — but then the firefighter collapsed from the smoke and also had to be treated.

Crews spent hours working to put out hot spots that continued to flare up.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, but think it may have broken out on the second floor of a building owned by Carole Korn-Carver and her husband. Korn-Carver says they just spent thousands on new renovations and were planning on opening a new wedding consignment store on the first floor.

Although Korn-Carver is fortunate to have insurance, she and other Ambridge residents say they want to know how the fires got started.

“I would just like to know where it started,” she said. “We’ve had quite a few fires in Ambridge and I think this should be investigated also.”

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