EAST BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Officials investigating a fire that tore through an East Bethlehem lumber and hardware store was deemed a total loss.
East Bethlehem Fire Chief Mark Giovanelli told KDKA that they suspect a wood-burner heating system at Millsboro Lumber and Hardware could be to blame for Saturday’s blaze. The business was evacuated when the fire broke out around 2 p.m.
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The Ark Avenue business lost an estimated $1 million according to Giovanelli. Inside the retail store, the business sold construction supplies, painting tools and more.
Investigators say that the fire could have started as early as Friday. The heating system that is suspected to be at fault features a wood-burner combined with a gas furnace.
Giovanelli said that the fire was difficult to fight following the collapse of the steel roof which prevented water from dousing hot spots.
Due to the magnitude of the inventory loss, the state fire marshall has been asked to investigate the incident.