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Collapsing Chimney Kills Firefighter

August 26, 1987 GMT

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) _ A chimney collapsed and dropped three firefighters from the second floor of a burning house into the basement Wednesday, and one firefighter was killed.

Fellow firefighters dug with their hands for 30 minutes in a pile of bricks and other debris to free Charles J. Deal, 40, a firefighter for 15 years.

″We were just trying to get to all three of them as fast as we could,″ said Rick Zitalone. ″At first, our hopes were high that we would find them in time, especially after we got to the first two guys and they were OK.″

The other two men were treated for minor injuries. A resident of the duplex was in critical condition with severe burns at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, officials said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately determined.