Man dead after fire in Pittsburgh’s South Side

PITTSBURGH — Joseph Traynor, affectionately called Joe or Joey, had plans for Thanksgiving evening. The 44-year-old was set to meet with his best friend, South Side bar owner, Ray Bennett.

“Everyone thought we were brothers,” said Bennett. “You could recognize his voice anywhere you went. He would be here probably right now. In fact, that’s what we were planning on doing.”

Unfortunately, Bennett would be one of the last people to see Traynor alive.

“We hung out all the time, I dropped him off about an hour before the fire.”

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Early Saturday morning, a fire was reported at an apartment above Dunbar’s Place on East Carson Street. When firefighters arrived, they found flames coming from the second floor. During a search, they found Traynor inside his third-floor apartment.

Traynor was taken to the hospital but passed away a day later.

Now, the immeasurable loss is felt by many in the same neighborhood where Traynor lived and the places he was known to hang out at and bring life to.

“It’s tragedy, you aren’t planning this, it’s tough, said Bennett. “The friendships from every place, we have friends from out of town, out of state, he was just recognized down here for being an icon.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but Bennett tells Channel 11 that while authorities continue to look into what happened, he’s taking on a new mission.

“The biggest thing I’m trying to promote is making sure everyone has smoke detectors in their apartment. That’s the biggest thing,” said Bennett.

Traynor’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses. To donate, visit the link here: