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Fire that left Westmoreland man injured ruled accidental

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Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

A house fire in Cook Township last week that left the occupant with burns and other injuries has been ruled accidental by a state police fire marshal.

The fire that caused $65,000 in damage to the home of Michael Hirko, 63, Route 130, Stahlstown, started at 5:35 a.m. Oct. 30 when a plastic outlet in a first-floor pantry overheated from an electric heater, according to Trooper Jake Andolina.

Hirko's trachea and lungs were burned, and he suffered other injuries when he fell off a rear porch roof where he had jumped from a second-floor window, Andolina said.

Hirko was treated at Excela Latrobe Hospital and was transferred to UPMC Mercy Hospital's burn unit in Pittsburgh. He has been released from the hospital, Andolina said.

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