Arson may be to blame in Spring Garden pharmacy fire



PITTSBURGH - A business that has served the Spring Garden community for 30 years was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning.

Channel 11 News spoke to the owner of Waltmire Pharmacy, who said he plans on doing everything he can to get the business back up and running.

Firefighters said the blaze was first reported around 1:25 a.m. on Spring Garden Avenue. According to Channel 11 sources, surveillance tape shows children running from the building moments after the fire erupted. 

When crews arrived, officials said heavy smoke and flames were shooting from the building. 

“Spring Garden has been good to me. For 30 years I’ve had a pharmacy here. This is home. These people are like my family,” Waltmire said.

Sources told Channel 11 News that the fire is being investigated as a possible arson. A nearby business owner shared surveillance video with reporter Dave Bondy, showing several people running down the street before flames erupted.

Waltmire said he hopes his own surveillance system caught better images.

“I believe we have the tape salvaged so they are going to try to take a look at that as soon as they can,” said Waltmire.

He said even though the fire is a major concern, his main concern is getting those destroyed prescriptions to his customers.

“I have no idea what to do with it. It’s a prescription that I need so I guess I’ll just have to figure it out sometime today,” said customer Jamie Sinclair-Matasich.

“I am going to do everything I can to salvage the business and take care of the people, and get up and running as soon as I can,” Waltmire said.

Police and fire officials would only say they are investigating the cause of the fire, and would not comment on the surveillance video. 

No injuries were reported.