The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

October 27, 2013

Tree blown over, ignites house fire

- — No one is ever prepared for the dreaded call alerting you that your house is on fire.

Michael and Debbie Zec received that call Saturday morning while enjoying an area football game.

The house they share with Debbie’s sister, Donna Griffith, at 1024 Walnut St., Farrell, caught fire after high winds caused a tree across the street to fall on electrical wires running to the house, Assistant Fire Chief Bill Mortimer said.

Mortimer responded to a call at 11:13 a.m. for a downed tree on Walnut Street west of the Zec home.

“When I got here, the homeowner was out front with her dog and said, ‘My house is on fire,’ ” Mortimer said.

He said he then saw on the east side of the house smoke billowing from an upstairs window.

Upon opening the front door, Mortimer said the smoke was all up the center of the house from ceiling to floor.

“That’s when the all-call went out,” Mortimer said, which brought Farrell firefighters to the scene.

Michael Zec said when they arrived shortly after that, flames were shooting out of the east-side windows.

Griffith, who was home at the time, said the tree fell, then she heard the furnace “popping,” then the microwave started to “pop” so she got out of the house.

Fire Chief Joe Santell said the fire started in the furnace, sparked by the tree falling on power lines. He said the fire marshal would be at the scene Monday.

“I thought it was getting away from us for awhile,” Santell said.

Santell explained the house is older and has a space between the wall and the outside brick that allowed the fire to travel up through the slats there, which kept it going.

“We’ve asked the city many times to get rid of that old, rotted tree,” Michael Zec said of the one that sparked the fire.

He said the city told them they would be put up in a hotel for a few nights but his wife doesn’t want to go.

“There’s family living on both sides of us,” he said. “We’ll figure it out.”

He said, thankfully, the house is insured.

“You never think this could happen to you,” he said.

Santell said the Red Cross had been notified.

Text Only
Local News
  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • 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.

    July 29, 2014

  • 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.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • 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.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge 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.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out 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.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    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.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • 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.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins 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.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos