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HOUSE FIRE Blood-alcohol content high in man who died



Published: Sat, July 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- A Penn State student who died in a house fire had a blood-alcohol content more that triple the legal limit for driving, according to autopsy results.

Christopher Raspanti, 21, of Fairless Hills, Bucks County, was found dead on the top floor of the three-story brick house, in which six students lived.

Raspanti, an electrical engineering major, had a blood-alcohol content of .271 percent, according to toxicology tests performed during the autopsy. The state's legal limit is 0.08 percent.

The Centre Daily Times was permitted to view the coroner's report after filing a request under Pennsylvania's Right to Know law. Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers had initially refused to release the information.

Authorities and the coroner have declined to comment on Raspanti's high blood-alcohol level and whether it contributed to his inability to escape from the downtown apartment house.

Investigators have said that an electrical problem likely sparked the April 24 fire. There were no working smoke detectors in the house, officials said.

Raspanti's death has refocused talks about increasing fire-safety standards for rental properties, from strengthening smoke-detector requirements to requiring sprinklers in large apartment buildings.

"I don't think any of this would have helped [Raspanti]," said State College borough council president Tom Daubert.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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