Firefighters mourn loss of one of their own

Firefighters mourn loss of one of their own

NORTH BELLE VERNON, Pa. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the commonwealth flags in Westmoreland County to be lowered to half-staff to honor a firefighter who died hours after returning from a call.

North Belle Vernon volunteer fireman Neil Cope, 46, died Tuesday after assisting Rostraver firefighters at a house fire.

“We were there probably an hour, an hour and fifteen minutes and they controlled the flames. They released us we came back and left the station probably 2:30 in the morning,”  said Chief Kurt Parshall of the North Belle Vernon Fire Department.

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Cope volunteered at the department for years. He also worked as an EMT at Rostraver West Newton Emergency Services.

A black wreath and turnout gear sits at the door of his fire department.

Wolf ordered the commonwealth flags on state facilities, public buildings and grounds in Westmoreland County to fly at half-staff until sunset on Friday.

It's still not clear how Cope died.