On Sunday, December 26, 2010 at approximately 7:15p.m. Allegheny County 9-1-1 received reports of a residential structure fire at 434 N. School Street in the Borough of Avalon. The following units were dispatched on the initial assignment; Avalon (Station 103), Bellevue (Station 108) and Northwest EMS.
103 Safety arrived on the scene within moments and reported heavy fire issuing from the Bravo side of a 2 1/2 story siding residential structure. There initially were reports of possible entrapment, however it was quickly learned that the family were on their way to visit family in Philadelphia. An immediate 2nd alarm assignment was requested, bringing the following units to the scene; Ben Avon (Station 109), Emsworth (Station 148), West View (Station 297), Fairview (Station 250) and Sewickley (Station 258 RIT).
Interior crews encoutered heavy fire conditions on the 1st floor and they initiated an aggressive attack. The fire quickly spread via the walls and structural members to the upper floors. Crews were ordered to evacuate the structure as conditions rapidly deteriorated and there was a collapse of the 2nd floor.
Crews battled the blaze for a couple of hours before knocking down the bulk of the fire. Crews not only battled the intense blaze, they had to battle icy conditions around the scene as well, due to very frigid temperatures. Avalon Ladies Auxiliary was at the scene providing coffee, hot chocolate and cold drinks to the emergency personnel. The Allegheny County Fire Marshal was called to the scene. Cause of the fire is under investigation.