• Gas scare inside North Side apartment blamed on stray cat


    PITTSBURGH - A stray cat is being blamed for causing a potentially explosive situation Monday morning on the North Side.

    Neighbors called 911 after smelling gas inside an apartment at a home on Vinceton Street.

    Patrick Bookout told Channel 11 News he was away all weekend, and when he returned home Monday morning, he realized what happened.

    “(The cat) runs out of food because he’s a little piggy. And he hops up on the fridge and when he jumps up he has to hit the stove. He hits the burner and it’s on,” Bookout said. “It didn’t light. It started filling the apartment with gas, and it still smells like gas.”

    According to Bookout, the same thing happened a few months ago.

    “It was only a couple of months ago that I came home from work and the burner on my stove was on,” he said.

    No one was hurt during Monday’s incident. Neighbors told Channel 11’s Brittny McGraw they were OK.

    “Now the arson department is at my house, and my cat’s the culprit,” Bookout said.

    According to Bookout, he’s going to make some changes inside the apartment to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

    “I’m going to take the handle off the stove, and probably leave him outside every day I’m not home,” he said.

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