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Fire claims life of Washington County man

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Sunday, March 31, 2013, 10:27 a.m.

Peters police and a state police fire marshal are investigating a blaze that killed a Washington County man on Sunday morning.

Robert Gary McLaughlin, 80, died in Canonsburg Hospital.

The fire was reported at 6:47 a.m. in the 2700 block of Locust Drive in Peters with one man trapped inside, the Washington County dispatch supervisor said.

Firefighters removed McLaughlin from the burning structure and turned him over to EMS, but he died at 7:40 a.m. in the hospital, according to Washington County Coroner Tim Warco.

Neighbor Lee Robinson, 62, said McLaughlin was known around the neighborhood as one of its longest-tenured residents and had been a poll worker before he apparently started having trouble getting around.

Robinson said McLaughlin lived in the house with his wife, a son and two grandchildren — and all but McLaughlin managed to escape the flames.

Red Cross workers assisted four adults with food and clothing.

The cause and manner of death will be determined after an investigation, Warco said.

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