FARRELL — Farrell firefighters called a vacant house fire in the early morning hours Thursday suspicious, while police contended with a suspected drunken driver who nearly ran over a fire hose.
The house at 1108 Wallis Ave. was boarded up and no utilities were connected to it, fire Chief Joseph Santell said.
Neighbor Jerry Mosley Sr. of 1107 Wallis said he was awakened by the blaze. “I heard a big ‘whoof,’ looked out my window and saw flames on the porch,” said Mosley, who lives across the street. “By the time I called 911, the house was just burning up.”
When firefighters arrived, the house was engulfed, with thick smoke billowing into the sky in a tornado-like fashion. Flames jumped from the attic to an adjacent house.Santell declined to name the owner, saying the owner had not been contacted.
As firefighters battled the blaze, Southwest Mercer County Regional police dealt with Dennis O. Jaggers, 64, of 941 Sharon-New Castle Road, Farrell, who was arrested at 12:44 a.m. at French Street and Wallis. Jaggers tried to get around police cars and nearly ran over a fire hose, police said. He was charged with drunken driving.