Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Two fire victims critical

by The Indiana Gazette on January 26, 2012 12:00 AM

A West Mahoning Township man and his 5-year-old son remain in critical condition after a house fire that injured the two and killed one of the man's other sons.

Ervin Hostettler, 29, and Andy Hostettler, 5, were flown to UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh Tuesday afternoon with severe burns as a result of the accidental fire. Hostettler's other son, Ervin Jr., 4, also was flown to the hospital, but died of his injuries the following morning.

State police in Punxsutawney, who are investigating the fire in conjunction with the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office, listed the cause of death as smoke inhalation and burns.

The fire at the Hostettlers' shared Amish home along Griffith Road was started when Ervin Hostettler tried to relight a fire in a wood-burning stove by splashing it with kerosene, according to Plumville District Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joe Brendle. Brendle said a fireball blew out of the stove, enveloping Hostettler and his sons and catching the basement of the home on fire.

Another son who was present at the time was able to get the three out of the house, Brendle said.

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