Man killed in Warren house fire

WARREN – A 69-year-old man who a relative said fought in the Vietnam War died in a house fire Friday afternoon on Warren’s southwest side.

Firefighters found the body of Charles Cooper in a living room chair inside the home at 2309 Oak St. S.W. he shared with his younger brother, who said Cooper drove a tank in the Army.

”He (Charles Cooper) went half-way around the world, gave his life for our lives in Vietnam … he was just a good-hearted person. He would help everybody and anybody” said Matthew Cooper of his brother, who just recently began receiving hospice care.

Crews were called to the home shortly after 1 p.m., finding it fully engulfed in flames. Charles Cooper’s daughter-in-law told firefighters she had just gotten out of the bathroom and was getting dressed when she heard a ”pop” and found her father-in-law in the living room ”engulfed in flames,” said fire Chief Ken Nussle.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has been asked to help with the investigation into the cause of the fire.

”Given the fact that it’s a fatality, we like to utilize all available resources,” Nussle said.

Matthew Cooper said his brother had just moved to the home from the Riverview Apartment complex on Buckeye Street N.W. because he could no longer care for himself.

Nussle said firefighters were unable to connect to three fire hydrants near the home because they were frozen, forcing them use to used stored water in the fire trucks. The three that responded can hold 1,750 gallons of water.

”Fortunately, we had enough water on board of the rigs that we were able to suppress the fire,” said Nussle.

Charles Cooper’s death is the second fire-related death in Warren this year.

An 85-year-old Beechcrest Street N.W. man died on Jan. 30 from smoke inhalation from a Jan. 22 fire at his and his wife’s home.