Officials search for cause of fire that killed a Charleroi man
A 62-year-old Charleroi man who used oxygen tanks to aid his breathing was killed early Saturday morning in a fire, a fire official said.
A Charleroi firefighter found James Harbaugh unresponsive lying in the backyard of his two-story house at 118 R. Fallowfield Ave., fire Chief Robert Whiten said. The firefighter, who lived near Harbaugh’s residence, rushed to the scene when the fire was reported at 5:07 a.m.
Harbaugh was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:42 a.m., Washington County Coroner Tim Warco said.
It appears that something had ignited the oxygen, Whiten said..
“He was enriched with the oxygen and it caught him on fire,” Whiten said.
A state police fire marshal from the Washington barracks is investigating the cause of the fire, Whiten said.
The fire was limited to a downstairs room of the house, where several oxygen tanks were found, Whiten said.
Firefighters quickly brought the fire under control and remained on the scene for about 90 minutes, Whiten said. The fire did not damage the exterior of the house, the chief said.
Charleroi firefighters were assisted by units from the Fallowfield Township, Lock Four, Monessen and Stockdale fire departments.
The coroner’s office is asking that anyone with information about Harbaugh’s friends or family call the office at 724-228-6785.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .