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Fire destroys Donora home, damages 2 others

DONORA, Pa. — One house is destroyed and two others are damaged after flames tore through the homes on Thompson Avenue in Donora, Wednesday.

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Fire crews were called to the scene just before 4 p.m.

“It was like an inferno,” neighbor Gary Worgan told us. He lives just across the street. “I was inside my house watching TV and I heard a big, loud explosion. I came outside and the house was totally engulfed in flames.”

He’s talking about the middle of the three houses. That’s the home that suffered the worst of it.

“It’s hard to wrap my head around this. I’ve never had this happen,” Edward Povrzenich said. He owns that home.

He tells Channel 11 he was at work when a neighbor called him and told him his house was on fire. His sister-in-law was inside babysitting three kids at the time.

They were all able to get out but two animals, a German Shepherd and a cat, were not.

The babysitter tells us she heard kids screaming then saw a door light up orange. She also says she never heard a smoke alarm ring. Firefighters say it’s unclear if there were any working detectors.

Dozens of firefighters battled the blaze, including Donora Councilman Casey Perrotta.

“I was on the initial attack line and it was fully involved upon our arrival. Flames were coming from every orifice of the building,” he said. “In this Mon Valley, houses were built right up against each other. The exposures are very hard to control at times.”

Povrzenich’s home was damaged beyond repair. It’s being torn down.

He says the family has no insurance.

No one was in either of the other two homes.

The state police fire marshal is investigating.

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