Peters Twp. man dies after house fire

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An elderly Peters Township man died Easter Sunday morning after his house caught fire.


Robert Gary McLaughlin, 80, of 2754 Locust Drive, was pronounced dead in the emergency room of Canonsburg General Hospital at 7:40 a.m.


McLaughlin was removed from his home by firefighters responding to a 6:46 a.m. report of someone trapped inside a burning structure. McLaughlin was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead by Washington County Coroner Tim Warco.


In a news release, Warco said the cause and manner of death are pending an autopsy.


According to the 911 emergency dispatch center, a second person was able to escape from the burning home.


The house had been boarded up by early afternoon Sunday and the smell of smoke still lingered in the air of the quiet residential neighborhood.


Peters Township fire Chief Dan Coyle did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.


Also responding to the blaze were firefighters from North Strabane Township and Upper St. Clair. The city of Washington and the borough of Houston both sent their Rapid Intervention Teams to the fire as well.


The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Peters Township Police Department, which was not planning on issuing a report until this morning.


Although a news release indicated a state fire marshal also was investigating the blaze, a spokesman at the Washington barracks of the State Police said calls were being referred to the Peters Township fire department.


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