Shed fire spreads to house

SHADYSIDE – Firefighters said a man was deliberately burning a shed on his property along Wegee Road near Shadyside Friday afternoon when the fire grew out of control.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at 51214 Wegee Road just before 5 p.m. When they got there, flames had engulfed the main house, which reportedly was vacant.

According to Shadyside Assistant Fire Chief John Shaver, the owner of the property said he was burning the shed to the rear of the house, and did not intend for the main building to catch fire, though he had been planning to demolish it. Shaver did not know the owner’s name.

“He didn’t realize that the radiant heat would catch the house on fire. … He was going to tear it down, anyhow,” Shaver said.

No one was injured in the fire, though a firefighter from the Spirit of ’76 Volunteer Fire Department was treated at the scene for heat exhaustion after he had been peeling siding from the exterior of the house, Shaver said.

Shaver said crews likely were in for a long evening at the scene, monitoring hot spots and retrieving more than 1,500 feet of fire hose used to pump water to the scene.

Responders included the Shadyside, Spirit of ’76 and Smith Township fire departments. A Salvation Army relief truck also responded to provide water to the firefighters.