New Castle News

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April 10, 2014

Croton Avenue fire displaces residents

NEW CASTLE — An apparent electrical fire displaced a Croton area family Wednesday morning.

New Castle firefighters were called to the home rented by Billie Esposito at 1119 Croton Ave. about 2:30 a.m. They remained for about 90 minutes.

The blaze is thought to have begun above the ceiling of a downstairs bathroom, firefighters said. The room might have been added on to the original structure, they noted.

Light smoke was visible when firefighters arrived, they said, and the residents — Esposito, her two adult daughters and five grandchildren — were out of the house.

Using a thermal-imaging camera, firefighters located the source of the smoke, which they said was a small fire burning in the crawl space over the first-floor bathroom ceiling. They said the fire had caused electrical wiring and insulation to burn, adding flames were found in the attic. Crews said they pulled down the bathroom ceiling to get to the fire.

The firefighters said they had been told the lights had flickered earlier in the evening and family members had replaced a fuse.

The firefighters estimated damages at $7,000.

Kevin Brown, interim communications director of the West Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross, said assistance is being provided to the family. Vouchers for food, clothing and lodging were provided and the eight are being lodged in a local motel.

Brown and the firefighters said electrical service to the household was discontinued after the blaze. It is not known when repairs will be completed and electrical service restored.

Brown said the family is encouraged to make arrangements to stay with family or friends until they can return to their house, but noted reasonable assistance will be provided until then.

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