Arson suspected in fire at duplex

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Arson is listed as the cause of a fire that gutted a duplex at 2016 Mercer Ave.
City Fire Marshal Robert Goeltz said investigators determined Wednesday afternoon that the blaze actually was started in more than a single spot in the section of the two-story duplex rented by Melissa Ann Long.
The blaze was discovered shortly after 12 a.m. Tuesday, and Goeltz said neither Long nor the occupants of the other apartment in the duplex, Debra and Roy Tate, were home at the time.
The building is owned by Ronald Banjak of Rutledge Road, Transfer.
Goeltz said the fire spread from Long's apartment into the Tate apartment before it could be brought under control.
Losses: He said the structure will have to be razed and estimated the loss to the building at $45,000. He had no loss estimate on the contents.
There were no injuries.
A state police fire marshal assisted in pinpointing the cause of the blaze, and city detectives are handling the case.

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