IRWIN (KDKA) – One man died in a Westmoreland County fire Monday morning.
According to emergency dispatchers, the fire started around 8 a.m. at a home along Pennsylvania Avenue in Irwin.
“They did find a male that had succumbed to the smoke. Fire was out within 10 to 15 minutes of arrival, things went really quick,” Irwin Fire Chief Justin Mochar said.
The victim in Monday morning’s fatal house fire has been identified as 63-year-old Michael Bova.
According to the Westmoreland County Coroner’s office, the cause of death is still unknown pending official autopsy and toxicology results. Dr. Cyril H. Wecht and Pathology Associates will conduct an autopsy on Tuesday.
Neighbor Mike Cassata said he noticed something was wrong when he was leaving his home to go to work.
“I was leaving to go to work about 8 o’clock and I just happened to glance out my van window and I saw smoke coming out the side of the house,” said Mark Cassata, neighbor.
Cassata called 911 and started banging on the home’s door. Eventually other neighbors joined him in trying to alert those inside about the flames.
“And they got the door open and smoke just started pouring out and nobody could get in and when we realized the neighbor’s car — the guy on the second floor was there — we realized it might not turn out good. We were praying.”
Cassata later learned one man died from the flames, but the fire didn’t spread beyond his small apartment. Right now no one knows if the victim was awake or asleep when the flames broke out.
“All three apartments were occupied, the woman who lived downstairs was home at the time of the fire. The man who lived upstairs was not home at the time,” said Chief Justin Mochar, Irwin Fire Department.
The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.