Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Low Water Pressure Impedes Fire Crew

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Low Water Pressure Impedes Fire Crew

Article excerpt

Low water pressure from an aging infrastructure of pipes in Vandergrift made it impossible for firefighters to save three houses and a garage in a Friday night fire, an official said Saturday.

The fires destroyed the homes of five adults and two children.

Steve Potoka, chief of Vandergrift No. 2 Fire Department, said that even with three aerial trucks and five pumper trucks called to 519 Burns St., "we were stuck right off at the beginning."

The first trucks arrived "within minutes" of being called to the scene after 10:30 p.m., Chief Potoka said, "and by then two houses were already burned to the ground."

A broken hydrant near the homes yielded no water, so pumper trucks were deployed to different hydrants to tap into the water supply. Since the municipality's water runs on a loop system, if one hydrant is broken, others will possibly fail, too. …

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