• Armed guards stationed at burned-out Green Tree bank

    Updated:

    UPDATE 9:55 A.M. SUNDAY

    Armed guards are keeping an eye on the bank in Green Tree that was destroyed by fire. 

    Workers have started putting up a temporary fence around the bank. 


    ORIGINAL STORY

    A Green Tree bank caught fire after a car using its drive-thru burst into flames Saturday afternoon.

    Allegheny County emergency dispatchers confirmed the fire at the First Commonwealth Bank in the 300 block of Mansfield Avenue, saying it raised three alarms.

    The driver told authorities her boyfriend felt heat coming through the floor of the car, opened the door and saw flames beneath the vehicle.

    Both escaped, and the man refused medical attention for minor burns.

    The flames leaped from the car to the roof of the drive-thru portion of the bank, and then spread to the rest of the building, which is destroyed.


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    Witnesses at a neighboring restaurant caught the scene on video, some of which show the intense flames engulfing the car and causing a loud popping sound.

    "I wasn't sure if there was a bank robbery or something," said Philip Bondi. "I thought that was the popping, someone shooting. And then I started seeing the smoke from the bank."

    A spokeswoman for First Commonwealth Bank released this statement:

    The safety of our customers and our employees is of the utmost importance to us.
    We are abundantly relieved to know that there were no injuries. 
    The safety of our customers’ information is also of critical importance to us.
    We have arranged for two armed guards to be onsite 24/7 to safeguard our customers’ valuables.
    We will be notifying our customers that they can bank at any of our community offices. We have more than 30 Allegheny County locations, including neighboring offices in Bridgeville, Dormont and Robinson.
    As soon as we are permitted to safely enter the building, we will assess any damage.
    Customers with safe deposit boxes will be notified directly when they can access their items
    We are very grateful to the many area fire departments who responded so quickly to the scene.

     

     

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