New Castle News

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March 29, 2014

Fire damages Neshannock Village kitchen

NEW CASTLE — An early morning fire Friday damaged a kitchen in a Neshannock Village apartment.

The New Castle Fire Department was called around 12:20 a.m. to 401 Neshannock Village, where fire had broken out in a second-floor apartment occupied by Robert and Cynthia Clark and Orville Duncan.

Cynthia Clark told police she had been cooking something and might have left the stove turned on. Police said a pile of clothing and shoes on the floor had contributed to the fire spreading along the bottom of the cabinets. They also noted cigarettes and lighters in the area.

According to a city fire report, crews arrived to find all occupants were out of the apartment and were covered with soot. They informed firefighters the blaze was out.

The firefighters went inside and found no visible flames, but smoke was heavy and materials were still smoldering in the kitchen, where the blaze had been contained.

Water was running uncontrolled from under the sink, the fire report noted, the kitchen had heat and smoke damage and most of the apartment had smoke and water damage.

According to the fire report, the unit sustained about $15,000 worth of damage, with about $500 loss in contents.

The building is owned by the Lawrence County Housing Authority and contains four occupied apartment units.

Gene DiGennaro, housing authority director, said a bottom-floor apartment had water damage and there are plans to relocate a longtime tenant from there.

He said the tenants living where the fire occurred were assisted by the American Red Cross.

DiGennaro said he learned from police the fire had started because the tenants had been cooking and fell asleep.

“They don’t realize the danger they cause to the other people in those buildings.”

He said whether those tenants will be allowed to move back into the complex is undecided at this point.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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