PLUMCREEK TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A man was killed in an early Wednesday morning fire in Armstrong County.

According to police, the fire started at a home in the 300-block of Village Road in Plumcreek Township around 1:52 a.m.

The victim, 43-year-old Terry Verner, was initially able to escape the fire. However, Verner went back inside to try and rescue two dogs and was unable to get back out due to the intense fire.

Verner’s cousin was also inside the home, but was able to escape.

“There were two gentlemen sleeping in their house. The deceased went and woke up his cousin, which was in a back bedroom and they both went out of the house. When they were both out of the house, they heard a couple of dogs yelping and Mr. Verner went back in the house,” Armstrong County Deputy Coroner Brian Myers said.

Verner’s body found near the front door of the home.

“He was found about 4-5 feet just inside the door. I’m not sure if he was coming out or going in. I think he was just going in. I think the flames were just that intense at the time,” Myers said.

Verner was known to heat his house with a wood burner. While an official cause of the fire is unknown, his cousin believes the wood burner was the problem.

“I think the wood burner probably caused it. Just a tragedy. I don’t even really know what to say,” Corey Pyle said.

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