No one was injured early Monday when a fire broke out at an apartment building in the 600 block of Glenwood Avenue in Ambridge.
Ambridge Fire Chief Dave Drewnowski said the state police fire marshal has ruled the cause undetermined, but the fire is still under investigation.
Firefighters from seven departments—Ambridge, Harmony, Baden, Conway, Aliquippa, Fair Oaks and Crescent—responded to the two-story brick building around 1:30 a.m after a policeman patrolling the area smelled smoke.
Drewnowski said the blaze at 699 Glenwood Ave. was fully engulfed when officials arrived and took about an hour to get under control. He said the fire started between the first-floor ceiling and the second floor.
He said the second-floor tenants had left the apartment to tend to an emergency prior to the fire. The family is being assisted by the American Red Cross.
The first-floor tenants were still moving in and just getting ready to sign a lease, but weren't living in the building, he said.
Drewnowski said the building, owned by Chester Sipes of Sewickley, endured an estimated $50,000 in damage. The first-floor kitchen had heavy fire loss and there was heavy smoke and water damage throughout the building.
Neighbors say a pet snake also perished in the fire.
Councilman Joe Pucci and wife Cora, who live a few houses down, said a policeman pounded on the door to inform them of the fire. They commended area departments for their quick action.
"The police did a nice job, and the fire companies. They all worked together. I was amazed at what they did," Joe Pucci said.