Tuesday, February 22, 2011



There is a valley in the City of Pittsburgh Pa. Which Pa. Route 51 runs thru other wise known as Sawmill Run Blvd. Pa. 51 runs from the Ohio Line near E. Palestine South to Union Town approx 100 miles
But I call it Arson Valley since I was a small child in the 60’s there has been many major arson and suspicious fires all along the approx 10-mile stretch of Pa.51, which runs thru the city
From the West End Bridge to Brentwood Pa. So many fires in such a small area I call it arson valley.
One of the first fires I remember was a Bar at the corner of Edge Brooke Rd. and 51 in the 60’s now a big parking lot. Another big fire was in a very large bar and a restaurant replaced nightclub at Bausmann and 51which
Tambellinis which it self had a fire and was destroyed on southern Ave. which connects to 51 from Warrington Ave.
Southern Ave was also the scene of many bad residential fires 10 family members lost their lives in a fire
And off of Bausmann Ave. runs Knox Ave., which also saw a fire, which claimed a family of 10 including children.
The Motor Cycle business still at its same location 1 block from Bausmann saw a fire, as did the thrift store
Directly across from bausmann.
1 block down from Bausmann you have the Liberty tubes and bridge. Businesses on all 4 corners suffered suspicious or arson fires. The happy dragon restaurant and 2 Syrian restaurants. The long abandoned
Lumber yard burned and an arson fire. W. Liberty ave has been the scene of numerous Suspicious and arson fires as well The liberty tube business are all gone having been replaced by a new cloverleaf to eliminate traffic back ups.
Down the road from the tunnels. A hillside full of businesses has also seen fires. Including the old Mays dept store warehouse and Seco Manufacturing now closed. And fires back in a little community called seldom scene because t is totally boxed in. the community no longer exists a now extinct transit project came thru and was never completed.
And starting in the West End there have been numerous arson fires and a fire bombing during the 60’s riots
Going the other direction past Bausmann and Liberty there have again been numerous fires.
The old Country Belle Dairy arson, Ronnie’s Tire a fire destroyed the business possibly electrical in nature which also seems to happen a lot in this valley across from Ronnie’s, Sunset auto destroyed by fire when a car caught fire .All with in a block of the bar which caught fire. Directly beside The old country bell dairy
Sat a big old dive of a bar called the barn again destroyed by arson a convenience store sits in the location.
One time in the late 80’s while driving home from work late at night I saw what looked like a storm sewer on fire in the street directly across from the motorcycle shop that had the fire. I stopped and called the fire dept from a payphone up the street and when they arrived to investigate I showed them which grate and we found remnants of a large beer bottle which had been used as a Molotov cocktail and was apparently meant for a business but as I came up the road my lights must have spooked them.
I never received a follow up, call, which is typical in Pittsburgh.
There have been numerous fires with cars in auto repair garages along 51
One business had 2 fires each time a different owner. And Brentwood has seen its share of fires as well along 51 Versharins a large grocery burned to the ground as well as its old green houses in Mt Oliver, which is located along Bausmann. All along 51 you will find boarded up closed business most owned by a pair of brothers who deliberately keep them slummy and whom Brentwood is always fighting with to clean up businesses move in and out frequently as the owners jack up rates continuously and make no repairs.
But Brentwood as well as no other community along 51 has anywhere near the amount of fires the city of Pittsburgh has had along this particular stretch. Some communities Like McKee’s Rocks and Aliquippa
Have had a small rash of fires along 51 in fact I know of no other stretch of road with such a deadly legacy of fires aprox. 1900 fires over 40 years
So who is responsible? One theory is real estate speculators. 51 is only 2 lanes each direction and needs to be expanded as well the creek running thru the area needs scooped out and covered. Buy the property cheap after a fire has whipped out an owner with no insurance and when the state or transit agency comes thru big profits after waiting 20-30 years.
And with the liberty tubes cloverleaf project some people saw big profits as the cloverleaf was planned in the 30’s but not put into place till the 90’s people knew sooner or later the property would be worth a fortune. It seems like any time you mention highway or other big plans Arson is not faraway
Bad wiring human error OK but almost 60% of the business in the 10-mile long valley having some type of fire impossible.

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