New Castle News

Police Reports

January 15, 2014

Smithfield Street fire cause undetermined

NEW CASTLE — Officials may never know what caused a vacant house fire Monday morning in Union Township.

Fire Chief Pat Donofrio said the state police fire marshal has ruled the blaze “undetermined but not suspicious.”

“We believe that it may have been electrical in nature,” Donofrio said.

Firefighters were called to 263 Smithfield St. about 7:40 a.m. Monday. They remained at the scene until 10:45 a.m.

Donofrio said crews contained the fire to one room of the single-story ranch-style house. “But there is smoke damage throughout the whole house.”

The structure is owned by Beneficial Consumer Discount Co. of DePew, N.Y.

Union Township Volunteer Fire Department was joined by departments from North Beaver, Mahoning and Shenango townships and South New Castle Borough.

“It was a bad time for a fire,” the chief said. “We got the call at 7:41 a.m., about the time everyone was leaving for work.”

Donofrio, who took over as department chief this year, said he has been busy since then.

“We had a fire on New Year’s Eve, frozen pipes, a freezer fire at Walmart and other calls.

“I’ve been very busy,” Donofrio said. “I hope things don’t continue like this.”

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