Hearth investigators uncover that the Allentown hearth was intentionally stopped in a single day – CBS Pittsburgh
By: Bryant Reed from KDKA-TV
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh police say the night fire that displaced a family and destroyed a home in the Allentown neighborhood was “intentionally stopped”.
The house on Excelsior Street caught fire around midnight Wednesday. The fire lit the night sky and woke the neighbors. The fire forced a family of six out of the house and is now looking for new accommodation.
“This is a nightmare,” said a neighbor.
A neighbor and his girlfriend saw the flames from across the street and were one of the first to call 911. The neighbor also ran out of his house to bring the family to safety.
Pittsburgh fire investigators said an unknown suspect deliberately set the front and back of the house on fire. When the fire was burning, a neighbor came in to help and bring the mother and five children to safety.
“It’s good to see younger people come in, help, and do the best they can,” said neighbor Thomas Walsh.
When neighbors helped with the care of the family, Pastor Christine Rotella took over. Rotella is the chaplin of the parish.
“Make sure they have clothes, make sure they have the food they need,” Rotella said. “Above all, we try to collect donations so that we can bring them to safe and stable homes. And building connections for them to make sure the kids stay solid in their schoolwork. “
But she wonders why someone would want to hurt their family.
“The worst negativity that our families and children bear is the constant loss of security,” said Rotella. “Every time you have some stability under you, something happens in the church that shakes you to the core again.”
While the Christmas presents are gone and family memories are lost, the family starts over with the help of the church. Pastor Rotella says her focus now is on helping the family return to normal life.
Meanwhile, the fire investigation unit is looking for the suspect.