GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) – Authorities say fire claimed the life of a man in Westmoreland County over the weekend.
The Westmoreland County coroner’s office says 32-year-old Matthew Pacacha was pronounced dead at the scene of the Hempfield Township fire.
Fire crews were called to the scene shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday after multiple witnesses reported the home on fire.
According to Eric Smartnick, a friend of the victim, Pacacha and another friend went back to the friend’s house after attending a concert at the KeyBank Pavilion, and Pacacha decided to spend the night.
State police say a blaze started in the kitchen around 4:45 a.m.
Pacacha’s friend was able to escape, but Pacacha and his friend’s dog died in the fire.
“Matt was a really great guy. He was the kind of person that could find the positive out of every bad situation,” Smartnick said.
Smartnick says Pacacha was a heavy metal guitarist who had recently gotten engaged. He has three children from a prior relationship.
“He made me a good person just by being around him,” he said. “He’ll be missed by many, but forgotten by no one.”
The cause and manner of death is pending the results of toxicology tests.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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