HARRISON, Pa. (KDKA) — People living within a half-mile radius of the Country Pools & Spas store in Harrison Township had to evacuate after a large fire on Tuesday.
New Kensington Fire Department Assistant Chief B.J. Kersey said officials went door to door asking people to evacuate because of concerns over chlorine gas.
In the coming days, Kersey said people should be aware of “any” symptoms, like irregular breathing.
“If you feel off, please just call 911 and get checked,” Kersey said.
BREAKING New Ken Asst Fire Chief: People &businesses within a half mile radius of the fire at Country Pools & Spas in Natrona Heights told to leave b/c of chemicals burned in the fire. People can go to the Citzens Fire Station on Burtner Rd. Natrona Heights YMCA shut down @KDKA pic.twitter.com/0Nsj0QbS1M
— Jennifer Borrasso (@JenBorrasso) November 22, 2022
Around 7 p.m., Allegheny County said the shelter-in-place order was cleared and officials began coordinating moving evacuated apartment building tenants back in. Officials said 15 homes were evacuated.
There may be some lingering odors but officials will continue to monitor the site. Both Allegheny County HAZMAT and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection were called to the scene.
It’s unknown what started the fire on Freeport Road, but a photo shows bright flames and heavy smoke pouring from the store. One employee was in the business, and somebody came into the building to alert him that the roof was on fire. He went outside and the entire back of the building was on fire.
(Photo provided by Carol Swartzlander)
No one was injured, but the store is a total loss.
“Between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., I heard a pretty big explosion,” Harrison Township resident Courtney Shrewsbury said. “Within an hour, I heard two or three more.”
Firefighters from four different counties converged to battle the fire. Dispatchers said the call came in shortly before 2 p.m.