Man with 30 days to live dies in house fire



WEST NEWTON, Pa. - Authorities have identified the man who was killed in a house fire early Thursday morning in Westmoreland County.

Channel 11’s Dave Bondy reported the house on West Main Street in West Newton was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived about 5:30 a.m. Thursday.

Investigators said the victim, later identified as 76-year-old Timothy Oliphant, made it out of the house but couldn’t go any further than the porch. The roof then collapsed, killing Oliphant.

“When more people showed up, we had guys masked up going up trying to get him off the porch, and the porch roof collapsed on top of my guys,” West Newton fire Chief Craig Sanner said.

Oliphant’s daughter, Karen Bourne, told Bondy she recently had an argument with her father about smoking while using oxygen.

“He was frail,” Bourne said. “We had an argument last night (about smoking) and that’s what’s even worse -- I got mad, but he’s still my dad.”

Bourne also said her father was on home hospice care, and had only 30 days to live.

Sanner said two firefighters were injured while battling the flames, and one of them was taken to an area hospital. Their names and conditions haven’t been released.

A state police fire marshal has been called to investigate, which is routine in fatal fires.