House was fully involved with fire, two pets perish in blaze

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Burrell Twp, Pa. – UPDATE:)  First Assistant Fire Chief Craig Davis of Burrell Township said firefighters arrived on scene of a fully involved house fire at 379 Cochran Mill Road in Burrell Township sometime around 1:00 pm.  Multiple fire departments didn’t have a chance to save the small house after reports of the fire getting about a 30 minute head start.  

At least 2 family pets perished in the fire.  It was initially thought an elder man was inside the house.  First Assistant Chief Davis confirmed the house was clear and no human life was involved.  Renters of the small structure arrived at the fire scene clearly distraught over the incident and the deaths of the pets. Responding fire companies include Kittanning, Parks Twp, Bethel Twp, Burrell Twp, Gilpin Twp and Ford City EMS.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

AKVNEWS.COM will update this story with full details as they come in to our newsroom.

(Original Story) Live from the scene in Bethel Township, firefighters have pulled a pet from a burning house. The house is a total loss and there are at least six fire department working to put this fire out. It’s unclear at this time if anyone is in the house but firefighters are still extinguishing hotspots.

AKV news will continue to update this story from the scene. The cause of the fire is unknown.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


New Kensington cloverleaf bridge project to be completed by May 2015

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

NEW KENSINGTON, PA. – Dan Bartko, PennDOT’s project Manager spoke with AKVNEWS.COM on the progress construction crews are making as they phase into the second half of the new bridge project on SR. 366 and SR. 56 in New Kensington.

Bartko said a change of signage leading up to the approaches has been completed to help motorists be more aware of the approaching construction where motorists need to exercise additional caution in the lane shift area. AKVNEWS.COM contacted New Kensington Police Chief Tom Klawinski about the recent accidents at the bridge since the lane shift occurred about 3 weeks ago.

Chief Klawinski said there had been three accidents at the cloverleaf but two of those were DUI related. PennDOT’s Bartko said work on removing the old span beams is set to begin in about a week or two. Closure of SR. 56 will be published once heavy cranes are moved in place and removal/installation of the beams begin.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Prime Contractor Carmen Paliotta began the $ $2,796,296.63 project in April and has until 5/6/2015 to complete the work. The new bridge will be approximately two feet higher to accommodate new bridge and roadway standards.

This bridge is being constructed in 2 phases maintaining 2 way traffic eastbound and westbound throughout the entire project on SR 0366. Motorists are reminded to drive with caution and be alert when entering a work zone.


Attorney General Kane announces $3.8 million multi-state settlement with Sirius XM


HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, along with the Attorneys General of 44 states and the District of Columbia, recently announced that Sirius XM Radio Inc. of New York has agreed to pay $3.8 million to the states and provide restitution to eligible consumers.

The settlement resolves claims that the satellite radio company engaged in misleading advertising and billing practices. In addition to the restitution to be paid, the Attorney General’s office will receive $ 146,484 , a portion of which will cover the costs of participating in the investigation and settlement. The remainder will go to the Commonwealth’s General Fund.

Attorney General Kane said that the settlement will address many problems encountered by Pennsylvania consumers, and Sirius XM will be required to implement substantial new protections for consumers.

Sirius XM also will provide restitution to eligible consumers who have complaints about the problems addressed by the settlement agreement.

The Attorneys General allege that Sirius XM engaged in misleading, unfair and deceptive acts or practices in violation of state consumer protection laws, including Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

The investigation focused on consumer complaints involving: difficulty canceling contracts; cancellation requests that were not honored; misrepresentations that the consumer’s Sirius XM service would be canceled and not renewed; contracts that were automatically renewed without consumers’ notice or consent; unauthorized fees; higher, unanticipated rates after a low introductory rate; and failure to provide timely refunds.

Under the terms of the settlement, as filed in Commonwealth Court, Sirius XM will make significant changes to its business practices, including:

Clearly and conspicuously disclosing all terms and conditions at the point of sale, such as billing frequency, term length, automatic renewal date, and cancellation policy;

Making no misrepresentations about the available plans in advertisements;
Providing advance notice via mail or email about upcoming automatic renewals for plans lasting longer
than six months;
Revising the cancellation procedures to make it easier for consumers to cancel; and
Prohibiting incentive compensation for customer service representatives based solely on “saves,” or retaining current customers who attempt to cancel.
To be considered for restitution under this settlement, consumers must file a complaint within the next 150 days for any issues with Sirius XM from July 28, 2008 to Dec. 4, 2014 that have not been previously resolved with their state Attorney General.

Attorney General Kane said Pennsylvania consumers with complaints against Sirius XM are urged to contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.


Police rescue man from burning high rise apartment in Brackenridge

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 6:24 am

Brackenridge, Pa. – Heroic work by Law Enforcement Officer TJ Bajack from the Brackenridge Police Department and Sargeant Ryan Hanford of the Tarentum Police Department as they rescued a man from his smoke-filled burning apartment at Brackenridge Hall early Friday morning.

The fire alarm came out at 4:30 am as Officer Bajack and Sargeant Hanford responded to the 3rd floor apartment to find a man down on the floor behind his apartment door.

Sargeant Hanford said they had to break into the apartment that was filled with black smoke to get to the man. Sargeant Handford was able to drag the man down the hallway and put him in the elevator while Officer Bajack pulled a fire line off the wall and entered the room to put the fire out. Officer Bajack said thick black smoke-filled apartment 304 and the hallway was rapidly filling with smoke making visibility near zero. Bajack said it was really getting hard to see up there and the fire was quickly knocked down.

Additional Law Enforcement Officers arrived on scene from Harrison Township to assist evacuating the 3rd floor and floors above the fire. Responding from Harrison were Law Enforcement Officer Chris Cottone and Law Enforcement Officer Justin Bouch. Responding from Fawn Township was Law Enforcement Officer Jeff Mravintz. Law Enforcement Steve Freiberg of the Tarentum Police Department also responded. AKVNEWS spoke with Officer Cottone who said Officer TJ Bajack did an awesome job in the rescue.

Sargent Ryan Hanford, LEO TJ Bajack and LEO Steve Freiberg

Sargent Ryan Hanford, LEO TJ Bajack and LEO Steve Freiberg

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Many of the tenants were seen in the resident lounge on the first floor and an equal number were standing outside the seven story structure while fire crews ventilated the building.

At least two patients were brought out of the main entrance on stretchers for transport to the hospital. Responding fire companies include: Eureka Fire Rescue, Hilltop Hose VFD, Summit Hose VFD, Highland Hose VFD, and Pioneer Hose VFD. Freeport and Eureka EMS provided medical services and transport.

The Allegheny County Fire Marshal was on scene to investigate the cause of the fire. A Salvation Army service truck was also on scene. By 6:54 am, the fire marshal cleared the scene, fire departments returned to stations and the structure was turned back over to the Allegheny County Housing Authority.

Many thanks to those Police Officers who risked their lives to save others !!!

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


Crash on Tarentum Bridge Road involves young child

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

New Kensington, Pa. – A two vehicle crash on Tarentum Bridge Road just after noon sent three patients to the hospital for treatment of their injuries.

New Kensington Police responded to the accident that occurred in the eastbound lane near the entrance of the Advance Auto where two vehicles collided injuring at least 3 persons. One of those persons treated and packaged at the scene was a four year old boy who was neck stabilized by EMS personal and transported to Allegheny Valley Hospital. The extent of his injuries was not known or if the child was a restrained passenger. A 24 year old female was also transported complaining of knee pain.

The driver of the Suzuki Forenza was put on a backboard and transported to a local hospital by Lower Burell EMS. The extent of his injuries is unknown. Traffic after the noon hour was extremely heavy when the crash occurred. It appeared the Forenza was attempting to make a left hand turn into the auto parts parking lot when the crash occurred. Lower Burrell EMS transported all three patients from the crash scene. New Kensington EMS also assisted at the scene.

Hawk Towing of Arnold was called to the scene for towing and cleanup.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


House fires from space heaters common, check yours now !

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Alle-Kiski Valley, Pa – Nearly every day there’s a house fire to report in our local communities. Users of space heaters should be keenly aware of the potential fire hazards space heaters can pose.

One of the most dangerous types of electrical space heaters still in use are the kind that continue to run even when tipped over. When these space heaters tip over and the protective screen surface contacts a carpet, floor or other combustible item, the risk for fire nearly becomes a certainty.

Two recent fires hit residential homes in the New Kensington area and both were caused by space heaters. The first fire occurred in Parnassus, where a family dog was killed after smoke filled the residence from an oil filled space heater sitting to close to combustible materials. The other fire occurred November 17, in Kinloch and was caused by an electric heater explosion. Fortunately, no one was hurt in that fire. In Butler City almost a year ago, a 100 year old mansion burned to nearly a total loss after a space heater on the second floor near a window malfunctioned. Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third (33%) of home heating fires and four out of five (81%) of home heating fire deaths.

Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths and half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.

Here are some simple steps that can help prevent most heating-related fires from happening.

*Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

*Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.

*Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

*Have a three-foot “kid-free and pet free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

*Never use your oven to heat your home.


Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. Test smoke alarms monthly.

*****Here are some escape route tips for your family.

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way.

Consumers are urged to find more information on websites like Consumer Reports or visit the Underwriters Laboratories. “UL is a world leader in product safety testing and certification. For more than 100 years, manufacturers have had their merchandise evaluated and tested for safety risks by our independent, third-party safety certification organization. Last year alone, approximately 14 billion products with the UL Mark entered the global marketplace.”

The best advice to give about space heaters – never leave them operational while unattended.



Five men arrested across Pennsylvania on child pornography charges

HARRISBURG – An Allegheny County man was arrested on Monday when Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced the arrest of five Pennsylvania men on unrelated charges as part of an ongoing effort to target the online sharing, downloading and distribution of child pornography. The arrests occurred over the past week in counties throughout the Commonwealth, including Allegheny, Lawrence, Lancaster, Philadelphia and Northumberland.

The defendants arrested in the most recent sweep by the Child Predator Section are:

Brian David Bradley, 45, 5269 Wolfe Drive, Apt. 1, Baldwin Borough, Allegheny County;
Preston J. St. Clair, 25, 1217 Hickernell Road, Ellwood City, Lawrence County;
Allen Perreault, 50, 2757 Creek Hill Road, Apt. F1, Leola, Lancaster County;
Thomas Muller, 33, 1100 Chandler St., Philadelphia; and
James Miller, 60, 8 S. Peach St., Mount Carmel, Northumberland County.

Brian Bradley of Allegheny County


According to the criminal complaint, agents located several files that contained suspected child pornography being made available for download through a peer-to-peer network. The computer’s IP address was later identified as serving Bradley’s Allegheny County apartment.

After Bradley consented to a search of the electronic devices in his residence, agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section previewed the contents of an external hard drive, which contained apparent child pornography media files.

Bradley is charged with nine counts of possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communications facility.

Bradley was preliminarily arraigned by Senior Magisterial District Justice Pat Capolupo who set bond at $50,000 cash. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m., Dec. 16, 2014.

The case will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Baldwin Borough Police Department for assisting with the arrest.


Man stabbed in Arnold

Law Enforcement Officer John Carilli

Investigating Law Enforcement Officer John Carilli

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 1:45 pm

Arnold, Pa. – Arnold Police and New Kensington EMS were dispatched to the Arnold Manor about 6:15 am this morning after a man in his 60’s was stabbed. At the scene, New Kensington EMS was evaluating and treating a male in the back of the ambulance.

Arnold Police Sargeant Mike Krahe said the suspect was not in the building and he could not release any names due to an ongoing investigation. Law Enforcement Officer John Carilli assisted at the scene. The extent of the man’s injuries are not known.


Weather Alert: Motorists report sleet-freezing rain

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 2:34 pm

Alle-Kiski Valley, Pa. – Several motorists in the Alle-Kiski Valley are reporting some roadways becoming very slick after a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain happening around 2:00 pm today.

As of 2:15 pm, both Allegheny and Westmoreland County 911 dispatch have not reported any crashes or alerts due to hazardous roadway conditions. The National Weather Service is reporting a slight chance of rain showers before 5:00 pm, then a slight chance of rain and snow showers. Cloudy, with a steady temperature around 39. Northwest wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tonights forecast is for a low around 29. North wind 5 to 8 mph becoming northeast after midnight and on Tuesday a slight chance of rain showers and sleet before 11am, then a chance of rain showers. Cloudy, with a high near 40. Southeast wind 6 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Little or no sleet accumulation is expected.


Bullets fly in New Kensington early Sunday morning, Jeep hit

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 11:09 pm

New Kensington, Pa. – Residents along Esther Avenue wake up to find damage from gunfire in the early morning hours just after 3:15 am Sunday.

Pow Pow, Pow Pow Pow said Cliff Belin of the 200 block of Esther Avenue as he surveyed the damage to his Jeep Wrangler from overnight gunfire on the generally quiet neighborhood street. Belin said he heard the shots ring out but didn’t think much more of it until he saw the bullet holes in his vehicle early Sunday morning about 8:15 am. A bullet entered the driver’s side door, went through the passenger compartment and exited the passenger side door just in front of the rear wheel. The bullet hole appeared to be about .40 caliber.

In the photo above, the passenger side door is shown as Law Enforcement Officer Robert LaPorte looks on at the damage to Belin’s vehicle. It’s believed that same gunfire was heard in the 400 block of Esther at about the same time and was reported to Westmoreland 911.

Officer LaPorte searched the area near the front of a residence and a fence further down the sidewalk but no round was located. No casings were found and no injuries were reported. Residents in the area are urged to check their vehicles and properties for bullet damage and if found to notify New Kensington Police at (724) 339-7533


Female driver hits parked car, flees scene in Arnold

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 12:42 am

Arnold, Pa. – A 19-year-old female driver from Brackenridge was taken into custody by Arnold Police department after a motor vehicle hit and run incident that occurred Sunday morning at approximately 7:30 am on 4th Avenue in Arnold.

Law Enforcement Sargent Marcia Cole of the Arnold Police department said the female driver fled the scene after hitting a Chrysler 300 that was parked in the 1300 block of 4th avenue. The driver was subsequently found at a residence on Woodmont Avenue. The Jeep she was driving sustained heavy front end damage and Sargent Cole said the operator drove the vehicle to the Woodmont Avenue residence with the air bags deployed.

A short time later Sunday morning, AKVNEWS.COM spoke with Law Enforcement Officer Wes Biricocchi who said the same female driver also hit a parked Volkswagon on Woodmont Avenue. Arnold Police said charges would be filed that included leaving the scene, careless driving, plus any additional charges pending lab results.

Hawk Towing of Arnold removed both vehicles from the incident locations.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


Driver wipes out several cars/truck on Kimball Avenue

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

Arnold, Pa. – At least one man is injured in a multiple vehicle crash about 7:15 pm Saturday evening on Kimball Avenue in Arnold.

Arnold Police responded to the incident after the operator a Pontiac SUV lost control of his vehicle sideswiping parked cars along the way as he headed North on Kimball Avenue. It appeared the last vehicle to be hit was a one ton Dodge dual wheel truck that was moderately damaged from the SUV’s rolling impact. After the SUV hit the Dodge, heavy front end damage was sustained to the Pontiac when it came to an abrupt stop causing the driver to suffer facial injuries.

The male driver suffered what appeared to be a heavy nose bleed and was evaluated/treated at the scene by New Kensington EMS before being transported to a hospital. At least 4 vehicles were involved in the residential street crash and the cause is under investigation by Arnold Law Enforcement Sergeant Shannon Santucci and Law Enforcement Officer Eric Doutt.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer