• Blairsville inferno ruled arson; police have suspect


    BLAIRSVILLE, Pa. - Two people were rescued Tuesday as a massive fire sent flames shooting into the air from a building that sits on a city block in Blairsville, Indiana County.

    PHOTOS: Firefighters battle inferno in Blairsville

    The inferno was reported just before 5 a.m. on East Market Street. Officials said Wednesday that it was ruled arson and they have a suspect, who they did not identify.

    Several fire companies were called to battle the intense flames at the building, which houses businesses and apartments. Crews were initially called to the Fox's Pizza Den, but the fire is believed to have started on the second floor, officials said.

    The building is a total loss, with damage estimated at $400,000.


    Channel 11’s Gabriella DeLuca reported that four adults and two children were living in the apartments. Two of those people were hanging out of a window and were rescued by two firefighters.

    “Just remembering what we practiced. We do it 1,000 times and we finally get to use it in a situation. You don't think, you just know what you're going to do,” Jonathan Santoro, one of the firefighters who carried out the rescue effort, said.

    No one was injured.

    Once the flames were out, two feet of water inside the building and fear of the second floor collapsing prevented firefighters from getting inside right away.

    In the aftermath of the fire, as well as a major water main break, Blairsville is under an emergency water restriction.

    Tankers were brought in Monday night because of low water and to be prepared for any fires.



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