The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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February 12, 2013

Fire destroys home in West Taylor Twp.

JOHNSTOWN — Fire destroyed a residence in the 200 block of Iron Street in West Taylor Township on Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze first appeared on the outside of the house and quickly spread, according to multiple witnesses.

“It was on the porch at first,” said Scott Raneri, a resident of Johnstown’s West End, who spotted the fire when going to visit a cousin on Iron Street. “All of a sudden, it got hotter.”

Seven fire companies responded, led by West Taylor Township Volunteer Fire Department. Along with extinguishing the flames, crews hosed down two neighboring structures and a nearby wooded area to prevent the fire from spreading.

“They got it pretty quick,” said Iron Street resident Ronald Janakovich.

Edward Martinek, who lives right next door to the gutted structure, reported the fire to 911.

The resident was not home at the time of the incident.

No injuries were reported.

The cause is unknown.

Firefighters returned to the scene around 9 p.m. when the fire rekindled.

Earlier, at approximately 1:30 a.m., a double-wide mobile home at 136 Whitetail Lane in Quemahoning Township, Somerset County, caught fire on the back porch. A person inside escaped when the fire started, according to a representative from the Boswell Volunteer Fire Department.

Accompanying Boswell were crews from Stoystown, Sipesville, Jennerstown, Acosta and Richland.

A cause is not known.

“Nothing looks suspicious,” said John Jordan, a Boswell paramedic.

Also on Tuesday, a fire knocked down the porch of a house located in the 500 block of Glenwood Avenue in Ferndale.

On Sunday afternoon, a Hooversville Volunteer Fire Department firefighter, Robert Wain Sr., was injured from smoke inhalation when fighting a blaze that destroyed a residence in the  100 block of Somerset Street in Hooversville. The residents escaped without injury. The cause is unknown, but not considered suspicious.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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