One dead in early-morning fire in West Newton

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One man is dead after an early-morning house fire in West Newton, Westmoreland County.

The fire at 205 W. Main St. started around 5:30 a.m, and a deputy coroner said the house still was engulfed in flames as representatives from that office arrived on scene.

The the Westmoreland County coroner's office said that resident Timothy W. Oliphant, 76, died in the fire. He was the only person home at the time.

"A passer-by told us of one individual they'd seen running out of the house; he was on the front porch," West Newton Fire Chief Craig Sanner said. "The fire was so intense we were unable to get to him" initially.

The chief said as more crews arrived, they were able to reach the porch, but shortly afterward, the porch roof collapsed, likely killing Mr. Oliphant.

A fire marshal's unit, which investigates cause and origin, was at the scene around dawn.

KDKA-TV reported that at least one firefighter was injured. The firefighter was taken to a nearby hospital with unknown injuries.

First Published March 13, 2014 6:57 AM

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