Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Cause of fatal blaze undetermined

by HEATHER ROTH hroth@indianagazette.net on May 30, 2013 11:00 AM

The pre-dawn fire that claimed the life of an Armstrong Township man and consumed a home at 195 Buckley Road began possibly in the kitchen area, but the exact location and cause are probably undeterminable, Creekside Fire Chief Peter Yacovone said today.

Yacovone said the state police fire marshal told him the cause of the blaze will probably be ruled undetermined. The fire marshal could not be reached this morning.

Terry Pease, 59, died in the blaze. The address was originally reported as 1 Buckley Road, but state police reported it as 195 Buckley Road.

Police said that a neighbor driving by the house around 4:40 a.m. saw it was engulfed in flames and called 911.

Once firefighters arrived, they battled the fire until they could safely search for occupants, and Pease’s body was found inside a bedroom, police reported.

Indiana County Chief Deputy Coroner Jerry Overman said an autopsy is scheduled for today to determine the cause of death. He said he does not expect it will be anything other than an accidental death due to the fire. Yacovone said he thinks the fire may have begun in the kitchen area, but that he is not sure. He said he does not believe any sort of foul play was involved.

“They don’t seem to think there’s anything bizarre going on over there,” he said this morning, saying it appears to be an unfortunate accident.

Firefighters from Indiana, Marion Center, Plumville and Elderton battled the fire, and the Rapid Intervention team and Citizens’ Ambulance Service were also dispatched.

Funeral arrangements for Pease are incomplete, Overman reported.

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