Fire crews in Cecil barely slept Tuesday night as they put out one fire after another into Wednesday morning.
The Washington County township, population 11,300, has about 45 volunteer firefighters spread among three stations.
“It's a lot for us to get one (fire) every so often — let alone four in 15 hours,” said Ron Zombeck, a fire captain based at the No. 2 station.
The first call came in shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday about a house fire on Coleman Road. A man was heating food on the stove when he fell asleep, said Paul Pivac, assistant chief at the No. 3 station.
About 30 firefighters were at the scene for about four hours, Pivac said. The house was deemed a total loss, and the homeowner was taken to UPMC Mercy with unknown injuries.
About 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, a dozen firefighters were called to the Homewood Suites because a piece of rubber melted in a heating unit and produced a large amount of smoke, Zombeck said. It was quickly under control.
A third call came in shortly before 7 a.m. regarding a house fire on Davis Lane. That structure also was deemed a total loss, and a woman was taken to UPMC Mercy to be treated for smoke inhalation, Zombeck said.
The fire marshal is investigating the cause. While firefighters were returning to the station from the Davis Lane fire, they received a fourth call from a home on Woodridge Court shortly before noon. A dishwasher caught fire. A dozen firefighters quickly got it under control, Zombeck said.
“The guys haven't been to bed yet,” he said Wednesday afternoon.
Although the fire companies in Cecil cover different zones, their crews responded to the fires together, Zombeck said. Crews from South Fayette assisted with other calls while the Cecil crews battled the fires. Because the homes on Coleman Road and Davis Lane were both in areas without fire hydrants, crews from neighboring municipalities assisted by hauling water to the scene in tanker trucks, he said.
The last time that Cecil fire crews responded to multiple fires at once was about 15 years ago, when a home under construction was fully engulfed while a store was on fire, Pivac said.
Back-to-back calls Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning were unusual.
“That's really not normal,” he said.
Elizabeth Behrman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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