No cause found after investigation into fatal Buffalo fire

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Investigators have completed their examination of a Washington County fire that killed a mother and her son last month, but were unable to determine exactly what caused it.

Fire pattern analysis had already revealed that the fire started in the living room of the Buffalo farmhouse -- where the family used a wood-burning stove and also had experienced electrical problems, Pennsylvania State Police investigators said.

But Trooper Steven B. Thompson in the Washington barracks wrote in a report Thursday that because of the excessive damage in that room, investigators can't make a final official determination as to the cause.

"At this point, there's nothing that leads us to any type of criminal behavior," Trooper Sarah Teagarden said. "It does appear to have been a tragic accident."

Lisa Hewitt, 27, and her son Timothy, Jr. 5, died in the fire, which erupted the night of Oct. 27.

Investigators will conduct routine follow-up, which could yield more information later, Trooper Teagarden said.


Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944. Twitter: @borntolede.


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