House fire claims a life in Whitpain Township, Pa.

Katherine Scott Image
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Fire claims man's life in Whitpain Twp.
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Fire claims man's life in Whitpain Twp.: Katherine Scott reports during Action News at 12:30 p.m. on May 4, 2017.

WHITPAIN TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- Fire has claimed a life in Whitpain Township, Montgomery County.

The blaze broke out at early Thursday morning at a home in the unit block of Township Line Road, near Butler Pike.

The fire department was alerted at 2:10 a.m. by a neighbor and a passing driver.

When firefighters arrived, heavy flames were tearing through the home, and they were told an occupant might still be inside.

They worked to extinguish the flames in order to get inside to search.

Four people live at the home. Three of them were out for the night.

The fourth, a man in his 50s, was found in the home.

"Unfortunately, through all the debris and rubble, when the occupant was found, it was obvious he was deceased," said Whitpain Twp. Fire Marshal David Camarda.

Investigators believe the blaze began in the master bedroom.

A working smoke detector was found in the home, but it's unclear if there was one near the bedroom. The fire does not appear to be suspicious.

"The damage is extensive on this side of the home," said Camarda. "Smoke damage throughout.... The attic is pretty well destroyed as well."

Neighbors couldn't believe what happened.

"There's a fire truck there, a fire truck there, fire truck there," said Jack Caldwell, who walked outside his house shortly after firefighters arrived. "And they just kept saying, 'The corner house!'"

Volunteers from the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the American Red Cross are "providing care and comfort" for the three family members who were not home.

Investigators remain on the scene working to determine what sparked the blaze.


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