Valley Inn fire

YOUNG TOWNSHIP — A fire that gutted the former Clarksburg Valley Inn tavern along Route 286 in Clarksburg was an act of arson, a state police fire marshal reported.

The weekend blaze swept through the long-vacant bar and left the structure a total loss, Trooper Keith Sobecki said in a news release.

Volunteers from six fire departments in Indiana and Armstrong counties battled the flames for several hours after the alarm was sounded about 11 p.m. Saturday. Firefighters returned Sunday morning when the embers rekindled.

Sobecki said his probe established that the fire was “incendiary in nature” and he appealed to the public for information from anyone who saw the building on fire before the firefighters arrived.

Meanwhile, Indiana County Municipal Service Authority Executive Director Martin Maschak said Monday that his crews “did not physically shut off any water” to fire hydrants during the Clarksburg Valley Inn fire late Saturday and early Sunday in Young Township.

“The fire companies operate the hydrants when they are out there,” Maschak said in response to comments by Iselin-West Lebanon Fire Chief Bryan Schirato. Schirato said the authority had the water shut off for fear of low levels.

Maschak said the authority also provides water service to 12,000 customers across the county.

ICMSA serves nine districts across Indiana County, with the fire scene in Young Township in its District 1 along with all or part of Armstrong, Center, Conemaugh and White townships and Creekside, Ernest and Shelocta boroughs.

The West Lebanon area of Young Township, where Iselin-West Lebanon, Coal Run-McIntyre and other volunteer fire companies battled a tire and coal bony pile fire a week ago, is in ICMSA’s District 2.