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Three victims of New Castle house fire identified

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Two adults and a teenager died in house fire early Wednesday morning in New Castle, Pa.

Firefighters were dispatched at 5:30 a.m. to the 700 block of West Clayton Street, where they saw smoke rolling out the home’s windows and flames shooting out of one side of the home.

According to New Castle fire reports, a high-school age victim was found in the kitchen, one adult was on a stairway and the body of another adult was found in an upstairs bedroom.

New Castle Fire Chief Michael Kobbe told the newspaper the victims are identified as Courtney Payne, 41, and her 17-year-old daughter Terrianna Payne, who both died inside of the home. The third victim was visiting the Paynes, Kobbe said, and identified as Xzavia Booker, 18.

Kobbe said the fire is believed to have started in the kitchen near a staircase leading to the basement. As of Wednesday afternoon, however, members of the Pennsylvania State Police were still inside the home trying to identify the origin and possible combustibles, Kobbe said.

New Castle Firefighters Local 160 posted on its Facebook page: “Last evening, New Castle firefighters were dispatched to a residential structure fire in Mahoningtown. Crews arrived to find smoke and flames showing from the first floor of the structure. Crews rapidly extinguished the fire and initiated a primary search of the structure. Three victims were located inside the structure.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and with our community during this extremely difficult time.”

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