GREEN TREE (KDKA) – An investigation is underway after a Sunday night fire left one man dead in Green Tree.
According to officials at the scene, the fire broke out at a home in the 1000-block of Greenlawn Drive around 8:15 p.m.
The fire was contained to one room and firefighters were able to put it out quickly.
However, David McLaughlin, 51, was found dead inside the home.
“My heart really is broke. I really feel bad. Sad, for the family, the wife, the children, their two boys,” Janet Schall said.
“They said there was smoke coming out of the eaves on the house and they went up, kicked in the door,” Joe Nardei said.
While crews were able to put the fire out quickly, firefighters had to battle heavy smoke.
“At this point, we have to interview the first firefighters inside the structure that were fighting the fire, the firefighters that came across the body as they were doing the search and then continue on with the investigation and look at where the body was found – is that indeed the origin of the fire as well?” Allegheny County Emergency Services Chief Alvin Henderson said.
McLaughlin was found in the basement after being unable to escape from the home.
“He was trapped in the basement. That’s hard to believe. How could he be trapped in the basement?” Schall said.
“I found out last night and we’ve just been devastated since,” Kevin Witcher said.
Witcher worked with the McLaughlin for eight years at Vincent’s Restaurant.
“He always tried to fix stuff. We called him Mr. Fix-It. It’s going to be hard, it really is. We don’t know what we’re going to do right now. We’re just taking it day by day.”
The cause of the fire is currently unknown, but the Allegheny County fire marshal and Allegheny County Homicide detectives are handling the investigation.
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