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One dead after massive fire tears through Carnegie building

CARNEGIE, Pa. — One of the victims who was rushed to the hospital following the massive fire in Carnegie has died.

John Michael Wells -- who worked in the building that caught fire late Friday night -- died as a result of smoke inhalation, according to his sister, Hellen Campbell.

Campbell told Channel 11 that Wells, 64, was a maintenance man in the building on the corner of Broadway Street, which houses Papa J's restaurant and several apartments above.

There was a small bouquet of flowers placed on the doors of the building Saturday.

According to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office, Wells was transported to UPMC Mercy Hospital and was later pronounced dead.

“You don’t see knights in shining armor anymore, but that’s what he was,” Campbell said.

Friends, family and other locals in Carnegie echoed the sentiment shared by Campbell when talking about Wells.

Wells worked as a maintenance man for that building and the one across the street. He was employed by the Troani family at Papa J’s for around 25 years.

Chae Roberts, a friend of Wells, said she knew Wells lived in the building where the fire started. She hoped he was not hurt, though Roberts was devastated to realize he died due to smoke inhalation.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, but the Fire Chief told Channel 11 that it seems to have started in a second-floor kitchen.


Two people were transported to the hospital after a building caught fire in Carnegie, according to emergency dispatchers.

The fire, which started around 10:30 p.m. Friday, continued to burn through the night as fire crews worked to contain it. Firefighters were able to contain the fire around 6 a.m. -- over seven hours after crews arrived on scene.

Channel 11 crews spoke with fire officials Saturday morning. Officials said the top two floors of the building are now gone as a result of the fire.

Cellphone video shows firefighters pulling someone from the second-floor window of a building on Broadway Street.

The fire broke out shortly before 10:30 p.m. in one of the apartments above Papa J's, officials said.

Two people were hurt and were taken to the hospital for treatment, officials said.

It is still unclear how the fire started.

Red Cross officials told Channel 11 they are assisting 13 people displaced by the fire, but the number of people could rise.