After living out West for awhile, David Walker came home to Sharon with dreams of restoring cars in his retirement.
Among his prized possessions was a 1977 Corvette that he had been restoring for the last three years.
The ’Vette and two other cars were destroyed late Tuesday when a fire ignited in his garage at 632 S. Oakland Ave.
“I had $30,000 tied up in that garage,” said Walker. “We are devastated. We don’t know what to do next.” He has contacted his insurance agency.
Fire Chief Terry Whalen said, “The owner took great pride in his garage. It was well kept and very secure. Everything is a total loss up there.” He said the fire will most likely be ruled “accidental” but the official ruling is “undetermined,” pending further investigation.
Fire Capt. Brian Scarmack said he suspected that chemicals, paint cans, gasoline, aerosol cans or tires helped fuel the blaze.
Reports of gunshots or possible ammunition exploding in the garage forced fire trucks to park a block and a half away from the garage. Police could not confirm that there was ammunition in the garage.
“I heard a big bang like gunshots. Then sounds like someone was chipping ice,” said Zach Clark, who was inside his house a few doors down when the garage caught fire.
Firefighters, rescue workers and police arrived at about 10:40 p.m. A policeman who refused to identify himself said, “As we drove up Budd Street toward South Oakland, all we could see was a wall of fire.”
Although Tuesday’s fire is likely accidental, Whalen urged residents to continue to be vigilant and keep a watchful eye in their neighborhoods.
“People should call 911 if they see anything out of the ordinary or suspicious activity,” said Whalen. “If someone is breaking into a vacant structure, they are probably trying to steal scrap or copper wiring.
“Neighbors are sometimes the best sources. There are several people behind bars who’ve been charged with arson because of these investigations.”
The chief also encouraged residents to keep their homes safe. With the current cold snap, Whalen reminded people using space heaters to keep them 3 feet away from combustibles. He also suggested buying carbon monoxide detectors and to make sure smoke detectors are working.
- Local News
Police: Kids in car were OK
The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.
To talk – or not – about police
The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.
Community thanks its first-responders
Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.
Drilling boom challenges state inspectors
The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.
A span of time
Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.
Intruder hurts woman, takes $5
A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.
March against crime set for Aug. 5
At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.
Farrell topped out at 819.
History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.
Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years
Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.
News briefs from July 26, 2014
Man faces bomb threat charges
June building tops $4 million in Hermitage
Elderly man survives plane crash
An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.
Man arrested for April gunfight
Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.
Hearing changed in starving case
The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.
Drawn to Mexico
Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.
Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting
Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.
Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.
Additional details to follow.
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- Police: Kids in car were OK