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Rostraver auction gallery destroyed by fire

September 25, 2018
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Firefighters respond to a blaze that burned Gilmore Auction Galleries, a 100-year-old Rostraver family business, on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018.

James Teska of Belle Vernon was planning to attend Thursday night’s auction at Gilmore Auction Galleries to purchase items for his machine shop.

Instead, he found several area fire companies battling a blaze that destroyed the 100-year-old business along Martin Road in Rostraver.

Rostraver police said the owners, members of the Gilmore family, spotted flames and called 911 shortly after locking up.

Five fire companies were dispatched when the call was received at 4 p.m., a Westmoreland County 911 dispatcher said.

“I come here twice a week,” Teska said. “There’s always a lot of nice antique furniture, and they always sell it really cheap. There’s a lot of people who come here from the tri-state area and buy to bring back to their own stores.”

The family-owned auctioning and appraisal firm was established in 1917 in Sharpsburg by Joseph Gilmore Sr. and was relocated to Route 30 East in McKeesport in the 1950s, the company’s website notes. It moved in 1968 to the Rostraver location, where it is operated by a third-generation family member, James R. Gilmore, along with his wife and son, Jeffrey, an apprentice auctioneer.

“You can’t find better people,” Teska said.

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