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Fire chief in Pa. showed up drunk to scene, police say

(CBS) PORT VUE, Pa. - A fire chief in western Pennsylvania may lose his job after police say he showed up intoxicated at the scene of a fire, reports CBS Pittsburgh.

Port Vue Fire Chief Cash Cortazzo was ordered to stand summary trial on charges of public drunkenness stemming from his alleged actions during a Sept. 17 blaze near the borough's fire hall, according to the station.

Authorities say the 24-year-old fire chief in the community about 15 miles southeast of PIttsburgh was stumbling and incoherent. He was ordered to leave.

"A little bit into the operations of the fire, my officer noticed a strong smell of alcohol smell coming off of Cortazzo and relieved him of his duties," Police Chief Bryan Myers says.

CBS Pittsburgh reports police obtained audio of Cortazzo interacting with dispatchers on the day of the incident in which he is slurring his words and disoriented.

Reportedly it's not the first time Cortazzo has been in trouble.

In July, Cortazzo was arrested for DUI in Cecil Township, according to the station.

"Public safety is the biggest issue. You don't want somebody being in charge of a group of guys, going into a fire, or whatever situation, that isn't capable at that point of doing it," said Police Chief Myers.

The incident remains under investigation.

Cortazzo is scheduled to appear in court November 18.

  • Crimesider Staff

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