5061 Fifth Ave
Originally built for William B. Negley, a lawyer who attended Princeton University, served as a Major in the American Civil War under General James S. Negley, and was the son of Jacob Negley and the nephew of Sarah Negley and Thomas Mellon. After Joanna Wilmerding (Bruce) Negley, the widow of William B. Negley, died in 1910, Edward Gwinner, a stone and railroad contractor, purchased the property in 1911. Gwinner had it remodeled and expanded. The original architect is unknown, but Frederick J. Osterling remodeled the house and was responsible for additions between 1912 and 1923. Gwinner died in 1949, and his widow, Adele, owned it until 1963, when the house was sold to Dr. Leo Harter. In 1987, a fire caused by a paint-stripping gun during renovation burned much of the third floor and damaged the roof. Harter died in 1988, and the house sat vacant for eight years, was boarded up, and had even been considered for demolition. Then in 1995, restoration contractor Joedda Sampson and her husband Ben, a builder and developer, purchased the property and restored it. The restoration took nine months. In 2002, the house was purchased by Kenneth Lehn and Marina Persic Lehn. According to the Allegheny County Pennsylvania Real Estate Assessment Page, the house’s estimated previous year market value for 2010 was $1,110,800.[
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Now you’re probably wondering, how can a dryer vent become a common home fire hazard? Most people can see how cigarettes could start a fire, especially if someone fell asleep who was smoking in bed, but dryer vents, come on.
Let’s start with cigarettes, a long time ago, cigarettes were more of the hazard than they are today. Today most cigarettes are made to go out quickly if they aren’t being smoked. This has decreased deaths and fire damage from smoking in your home, drastically.
However, cigarettes should always be put out in an ashtray and never thrown away in a regular trash can, filled with paper and other flammable waste products. This is still a problem today and with a little common sense and a lot of education, this problem seems to be going away, as the years go by. It’s not a bad idea to put your finished cigarette out in a bottle filled with water. That’s good advice, think about it if you’re a smoker.
Now, what you’ve all been waiting for, how can a dryer vent, become a common home fire hazard. Well, it’s story time. Here’s something that actually happened at my home while I was at work.
We were taking care of a foster child who was nine years old and he saved our house. The rest of the family was playing a game in the back bedroom, while the washer and dryer were running. I had recently done some modifications or, you might call it remodeling to my garage and never got around to fixing the dryer vent, properly. In other words it wasn’t venting to the outside of the house like it should have been
The problem with this, was that the dryer vent was starting to accumulate lent behind the dryer. You might find this hard to believe, but this dryer lint caught on fire, while the hot air was coming directly out of the back of the dryer and could have burnt the whole house down, except for the young boy who smelled the smoke and notified someone who put the fire out.
I’ve since learned my lessons and that’s why I’m sharing my story with you, so that it doesn’t happen to anyone who reads this article. There is a reason for your pipes and duct work in your home, so make sure that they are hooked up properly and cleaned regularly.… Read More