Allegheny County Fire Marshall officials are lifted to survey the damage after the early morning fire in Pitcairn.
Foam covers Broadway Boulevard, the main street of Pitcairn, after a multialarm fire this morning consumed the old theater and a neighboring building.
By Jim McKinnon Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
One building partially collapsed and another was damaged heavily after flames broke out out early this morning in Pitcairn.
Firefighters arrived around 1:30 a.m. and spent hours on the scene in the 400 block of Broadway Boulevard.
Broadway Boulevard will remain closed until the two structures can be demolished safely, said Chris Fouser, chief of Fire Station No. 2 in Pitcairn.
PennDOT announced today that the road, also known as Route 130, is not expected to reopen until sometime on Thursday. Motorists should detour around the area using Route 48 and the Parkway East.
Police patrolling the borough first spotted the fire and reported flames coming from a second-floor window.
Firefighters confirmed it when they arrived minutes later. Chief Fouser said the rear of the building, however, was burning.
Firefighters were unable to combat the blaze from the interior for fear of a collapse, which eventually occurred.
Within these first minutes, it spread to the adjacent structure, Chief Fouser said.
The cause is being investigated by the Allegheny County fire marshal. Borough engineers also are at the scene evaluating.
The building once housed a movie theater, but it most recently held a bar with apartments on the second, third and fourth floors.
For at least the past five years, both buildings have been vacant, the chief said.
A woman who lives two doors away from the fire was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. Chief Fouser said she was ordered to evacuate her home, and she was overcome when she was exposed to the smoke outside.