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Investigators say deadly Washington County fire started in living room

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 11:42 a.m.

A fire that killed a Washington County mother and her young son started in the family's living room, according to state fire investigators.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but the initial investigation ruled out suspicious activity, said Pennsylvania State Trooper Steven Thompson with the fire marshal's office.

Lisa Marie Hewitt, 27, and her son, Timothy Hewitt Jr., 5, were trapped in a second-story bedroom and died in the Sunday night fire.

The family had a wood-burning stove in the living room. Thompson could not yet say whether the stove caused the fire.

“To put something as the cause of the fire, you also have to eliminate everything else. We're having difficulty doing that,” he said.

Fire investigators have not been able to rule out other causes, such as faulty electrical wiring, because of the extensive damage.

The Washington County Coroner's Office will not release the cause of the deaths until the fire investigation is completed, it said on Wednesday.

A fund to help Timothy Hewitt Sr., who lost his wife and son in the fire, has been set up at Community Bank. Contributions to the Timothy Hewitt Sr. Donation Fund can be made in person at any branch or mailed to Community Bank, 100 N. Market St., PO Box 357, Carmichaels, PA 15320.

A memorial for the Hewitts is set for 7 p.m. Friday in William G. Neal Funeral Homes in Washington. Visitation will begin three hours before the memorial.

Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or aaupperlee@tribweb.com.

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