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1 dead in Castle Shannon house fire

| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 7:24 a.m.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Allegheny County fire marshals investigate a fatal fire on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, in the 900 block of Sleepy Hollow Road in Castle Shannon.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
A woman died after being rescued from a fire in her Castle Shannon duplex Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013.

Investigators believe the combination of oxygen tanks and someone smoking started a fatal fire in Castle Shannon early Thursday.

Donald Dyson, 75, who lived in the home, died in the fire, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Chief Bill Reffner said the fire occurred in the living room of the home on Sleepy Hollow Road.

A neighbor heard an alarm and the sound of breaking glass just before 4 a.m., Reffner said. Her husband saw the flames and ran to the house, opened the door and saw a person lying on the floor about 3 feet inside, Reffner said.

“He pulls the person out onto the porch, but he has to retreat because of the fire,” Reffner said.

Paramedics pronounced Dyson dead at the scene. There was initial confusion about the gender of the person, because a woman lives at the home, but she was in a hospital at the time of the fire, Reffner said. He said investigators are working to determine the relationship between Dyson and the woman.

“It looks like they both were having medical issues,” Reffner said. “There were several oxygen tanks.”

Allegheny County homicide detectives and the fire marshal's office are investigating.

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

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