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Time of Ashes

Peter Regan
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Our Community Respects History.  Along our streets hang banners of war-heroes. High school Students in our community dedicated a mural of our Story named, “We Walk with History” for Etna’s 150th Anniversary.  Emblazoned in the center of the mural erupts the volcano for which our town is named.   The fire of the volcano illustrated a future too awful to predict on such a beautiful day in our neighborhood.   Now that future has come to pass, and charred holes from the inferno remain in our building and its mural.   

Fire, water, and fumes engulfed art, history, livelihoods, and treasures.  Water was spent, businesses closed, power shut down, streets restricted, and our neighborhood alarmed.  We are deeply saddened our neighbors were caught in the net of chaos caused by the conflagration.  We are all grieved by this, and humbled by the concern we have been shown by so many of the people we have built relationships within this community.  

It would be a shameful injustice for us to only wallow and ignore the many acts of heroism which kept a terrible day from becoming unimaginably worse.   Pittsburgh is a city of "Neighborhoods" but comes together as one.  Valiant Firefighters from 29 Departments as far as Cranberry, flew to our aid in our hour of need.  They subdued the flames from spreading throughout our community.  Police Officers directed traffic away from danger.   Animals in the building which a Teacher uses in his lessons with youth were all saved.  Paramedics arrived providing aid to all in need.  The First Responders and People of Etna performed admirably, remaining calm and cool in the hot face of fire.  To all of you, from all of us, we thank you.

In this time of ashes, we resolve only to do everything we can.  We face the task we have been given, apply our hearts to the work that must be done, build relationships, contribute to our community, and strive to be the Neighborly place for life’s needed space.   Relationship is at the heart of what we do, and we will walk through this history together.  

Many have graciously reached out wondering how they can help.  We have a GoFundMe campaign for those who have been affected by the fire.  If you desire to contribute more physically than monetarily, please email us at

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