After being looked over by a structural engineer while police officials from Ridgway Borough and the Ridgway-based state police concluded investigations, owner Ed Aiello said Thursday night he is confident that the fire-damaged building at 205 Main St. in downtown Ridgway will remain standing.
Trooper Greg Agosti, a fire marshal for the Pennsylvania State Police, completed the investigation Wednesday and reported that the cause of the fire was determined to be an overheated electrical outlet located in apartment 2B on the second floor of the 3-story brick building.
With the investigation complete, Aiello said the focus has shifted to restoring the building and getting the two businesses, Ling Ling Chinese Restaurant and Aiello Land and Development Group, LLC, back up and running.
"They were finishing their investigation Wednesday along with a structural engineer, we just have to wait for the final engineer report," Aiello said. "I'm sure if there was an issue, it would've been brought up at the site.
"I don't think it will be an issue and my intent is to repair it as the building appears to be sound."
A fire broke out March 19 at 2:15 a.m. and destroyed the eight apartment units situated on the second and third floors. The roof of the building collapsed and police reports assessed the damage to be at least $750,000. Timothy Keyser, age 45, of Ridgway, died in the blaze; Everett Fowler, age 62, also of Ridgway, was eventually transported to Pittsburgh for medical treatment; an additional 13 victims were displaced by the fire.