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GREENVILLE Cleaners burns; firefighter is injured



Published: Mon, April 15, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A train delayed firefighters rushing to the blaze.

By LAURI GALENTINE

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

GREENVILLE, Pa. -- An electrical short in the basement caused a fire that damaged a downtown business and sent one firefighter to the hospital, said Steve Thompson, Greenville fire chief.

Thompson said his department was called to Greenville Dry Cleaners, 142 Main St., at 11:56 a.m. Sunday. The building was engulfed in flames and the first-floor ceiling had collapsed, he added.

Firefighters were hampered by dry-cleaning racks cluttering the first floor and plywood covering the windows on the second floor, delaying ventilation efforts, Thompson said.

He said the extent of the damage is undetermined at this time. Dennis DeTullio of Clarksville Street owns the business. He could not be reached for comment Sunday or today.

Smoke: A fire wall kept the flames from moving into the neighboring Good Shepherd Center, Thompson said, but smoke infiltrated that building and the Moss Furniture Co. at 150 Main St. He didn't say whether either of those businesses sustained damage.

In addition to the conditions inside the building, Thompson said his department faced a delay arriving at the scene when they encountered a train from Bessemer & amp; Lake Erie Railroad at the crossing on Main Street just a half-block from the fire.

He said a 911 dispatcher contacted the railroad dispatcher to have the train speed up to clear the crossing.

Upon arriving at the scene firefighters had problems with water pressure, and a water company employee was called out to increase pressure to two hydrants in the vicinity.

Firefighter injured: During the three-hour fight to save the building, firefighter Bill Hodge suffered a shoulder injury and was treated at UPMC Horizon here, Thompson said.

He said his department was assisted by firefighters from Transfer, Jamestown, Hempfield and West Salem Township fire departments, as well as officers from the Greenville-West Salem Township Police Department and employees of Penn Power and National Fuel Gas.




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