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.
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.
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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.
Heroes! These two Blairsville volunteer firefighters saved two people who were hanging out of the apartment windows above Fox's Pizza in Blairsville. They told me "training & instinct kicked in." @WPXI pic.twitter.com/CHd1PhNY0Z— Gabriella DeLuca (@GabriellaDeLuca) January 9, 2018
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.
NEW: Blairsville is now under an "Emergency Water Restriction" because of major water main break & this AM's fire. Last night they brought in tankers because they were low in water bc of the break. They think the break may be in the river, but are unsure. @WPXI pic.twitter.com/VKoAghWsW4— Gabriella DeLuca (@GabriellaDeLuca) January 9, 2018
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