ROSTRAVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A fire forced a family out of their Westmoreland County home overnight after crews were called there not once, but twice.
It all started when a caller reported smoke coming from the house around 9 p.m. Wednesday on Webster Hollow Road in Rostraver Township.
Channel 11 learned it was due to a faulty chimney, the home’s primary heat source. It was the family’s first time using it this year. The fire was put out in the wood burner.
“When we checked temperatures throughout the entire house, checked the crawlspaces, checked the chimney, there was nothing,” said Rostraver Township VFD Webster First Assistant Chief Russell Maglet
Hours later at 1 a.m., crews were back on scene after a fire was reported at the same home. When our photographers arrived, there was smoke coming from the house.
Maglet said it was a faulty chimney line that caused the fire, that something in that wall was smoldering and ended up igniting four hours later.
Fortunately, no one was hurt and crews were able to get things under control quickly.
The Red Cross was assisting the family after the first call, so they were not home when flames broke out hours later.
Merle and Brianna Weimer lived in the home, which they rent to own, with their two young children.
The Weimers told Channel 11 they’re upset that they didn’t know their house caught fire a second time until they saw it on social media.
“Nobody even let us know that the house caught on fire. I had to see it on Facebook,” Brianna Weimer said.
Maglet stressed how important it is to have a chimney inspected.
“Definitely get your chimney checked. I know it’s getting cold and times are tough, but you gotta think of safety,” Maglet said.
“This was our future to build our house to buy it and have property for the kids,” Merle Weimer said.
Right now, the family is still looking for a place to stay.
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