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Cause remains unknown in blaze that injured two



Published: Wed, September 26, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Fire investigators say they still don't know the cause of a blaze that injured two people.

Thomas Straley, 42, and Kimberly McCarns, 43, both of 375 Halco Drive, were in critical condition this morning at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. Both suffered burns in the blaze, which ignited at about 7:20 a.m. Tuesday.

Fire Chief James Donston said he found Straley wandering around outside when he arrived at the blaze, and McCarns was unconscious in the kitchen. The fire, which appeared to have started in the living room couch, was out when firefighters arrived. Fire officials said it appeared to have gotten sufficient oxygen to expand and burn itself out.

City police say they returned to the apartment at 3:34 p.m. Tuesday after a break-in was reported. Cathy Cratty, 43, of 373 Halco Drive was arrested and charged with burglary, theft, public drunkenness and criminal trespass. She was arraigned before District Justice J.V. Lamb and was in the Lawrence County Jail this morning. The amount of her bail was not available this morning.




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