Official: Wrong Fuel Possible in Fatal Pennsylvania Fire

November 21, 2011

A western Pennsylvania fire investigator says a blaze that killed an elderly woman several days ago may have started when the wrong fuel was poured into a kerosene heater.

Allegheny County authorities say the blaze reported at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday in a home in Aleppo Township killed 81-year-old Frances Hoston.

Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Donald Brucker told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that preliminary indications are that improper fuel, perhaps gasoline, was poured into the basement heater.

Ninety-one-year-old Arthur Hoston was treated for burns at UPMC Mercy after he tried to extinguish the fire and rescue his wife.

Brucker said a final ruling on the fire will be made after laboratory tests are completed.

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