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Fatal Fayette Co. Fire Has Authorities Stumped

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Fayette County fire left one man dead early Sunday morning.

The fire happened at a home on Fifth Avenue in Brownsville.

State Police say the fire started in the kitchen around 1 a.m., after 47-year-old Anthony Joseph Willis turned on the stove to cook some food and feel asleep.

Police believe Willis was awakened when the stove caught fire and tried to climb out of his bedroom window, but could not escape.

Aaron Jeffries, a neighbor, heard about the fire and rushed to the scene.

"I'm surprised he didn't get out though, he's a young guy, he's got a lot of energy, not sickly or weak or anything like that," he said.

The State Police Fire Marshal ruled the fire as accidental, although it's still under investigation. They received a late call and the fire was already out when they arrived.

"When we arrived, like I said, the fire had already been extinguished," said Brownsville Fire Chief Jordan Sealy. "There was no smoldering or visible flames, which seemed odd due to the extensive damage there was in the kitchen. Something just didn't add up."

The fire marshal and Fayette County coroner are doing separate investigations.

Jeffries can't believe his friend is gone.

"He's like a loner, but he does good work for people around the area," he said. "Willis was a real nice guy."

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