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
Transportation law’s impact unknown
Although it’s clear Pennsylvania public transportation agencies will be getting more money under a recently passed law that will increase gas taxes and other vehicle-related fees, agencies are still waiting for details.
Landlords weigh in on proposal
Some landlords aren’t happy about a proposed revision of the rental inspection ordinance. But most of the eight who talked it over Monday with Sharpsville council said they can live with the plan to tighten building safety procedures in the borough.
Police decluttering won’t include Tommy gun
Some old police records are heading for the shredder to clear some storage space at Sharon Police Department.
Regional police seek 3% increase
The member communities of Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department are being asked to increase their annual assessments by 3 percent in the department’s 2014 budget.
Official rules deaths murder, suicide
The deaths of two South Pymatuning Township men on Monday were ruled a murder-suicide, according to Mercer County Deputy Coroner John Libonati.
This time, bell has different ring
With a diamond ring too big to fit in the Salvation Army’s red kettle, Capt. Scott Flanders proposes a local jeweler buy the ring from him and help support the agency doing its best to help the less fortunate.
News briefs from Dec. 10, 2013
A roundup of stories from Sharon City Schools.
Other business from Dec. 10, 2013
Sharon City Schools
Firefighter accused of theft fired by city
Jason Scott Clepper, the Sharon man accused of stealing money from the firefighters’ union, has been fired from his city job.
DA drops case after gun suppressed
A Youngstown man was released Tuesday, the day local prosecutors pulled the plug on a case against him alleging firearms violations.
City to spend $2M on projects, equipment
Hermitage city officials are closing 2013 satisfied with the city’s financial position and with high hopes of completing a lot of quality-of-life projects in the new year.
CCL revision anticipates job growth
CCL Container Corp. is closing a Canadian aerosol manufacturing plant, and its Hermitage and Mexican plants are competing to take on the additional workload.
2 found dead from gunshots
Responding to a call to Mercer County 911, police found two men dead of gunshot wounds Monday afternoon, one in a South Pymatuning Township home and the other, the apparent caller, in a Hermitage cemetery.
Nine-year-old Alexander Holmes of Grove City stole the show at Buhl Model Train Society’s sixth annual display.
Man charged with contempt for failing to show up for prison
A Farrell man has been charged in a federal indictment with contempt for failing to show up for prison for a probation violation.
- More Local News Headlines
- Transportation law’s impact unknown