UNION TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — One person is dead and another is injured following an early Saturday morning house fire in Washington County.
The fire destroyed the one-story, wood-frame home along Nasal Lane, which is an isolated rural road just off Route 88, in Union Township. Crews were called to the scene just after 5:30 a.m.
A 63-year-old man was flown by medical helicopter to a hospital in Pittsburgh. According to the Washington County Coroner’s Office, 59-year-old Elaine Manack was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:15 a.m.
The Coroner’s Office reports that Manack died of smoke inhalation.
State police in Washington County along with the State Police Fire Marshal continue to investigate.
Meanwhile, the fire marshal defused reports that the home was being used as a meth lab.
“We completely eliminated that rumor, and we identified all of the things that might have been mistaken for that,” said Trooper Shawn Jones, of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Investigators say the occupants had several different heat sources, but they haven’t said exactly how the fire started.
In addition to leaving the home in ruins, the fire also destroyed a vehicle.
Meanwhile, the owner has not been identified. KDKA’s Bob Allen reports that the man is in the hospital suffering from severe burns.
Firefighters were on the scene for hours Saturday putting out the hot spots, and the investigation is still in the early stages.
“We identified the area of origin. We think we have the cause of the ignition, but there’s still more interviews and information to collect,” Trooper Jones.
The owner had several pets, including three dogs and a goat. There’s no word yet on what will happen to them. Officials are hoping neighbors will care for the animals now that they no longer have a home.