Cause of apartment fire is ruled undetermined

Jan. 11—The cause of last week's fire that heavily damaged a large apartment house on Meadville's North Cottage Street has been ruled undetermined.

The ruling by the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Office came following a joint investigation of the scene Tuesday by fire marshals and Meadville Central Fire Department.

"It's been ruled undetermined, but not suspicious," Chief Pat Wiley of the fire department said. "The area of origin was on the second-floor rear porch area."

The fire was discovered about 2:15 p.m. Jan. 4 at the three-story, six-unit apartment house at 740 N. Cottage St.

The first firefighters arriving on scene saw flames coming from the second and third floors at the rear of the building.

There were four adults and three children in the building when the fire started, Wiley said. In all, the blaze displaced 11 people.

There were no fatalities, but two firefighters sustained minor injuries and two residents were taken to Meadville Medical Center for evaluation.

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at