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Couple sentenced to prison in fatal rooming house fire

August 6, 2018

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — A northeastern Pennsylvania man and woman have been sentenced to prison in a fatal northeastern Pennsylvania rooming house fire.

Sixty-six-year-old Thomas McQueen and 54-year-old Alice Reimiller both pleaded guilty last week to third-degree murder.

They had been scheduled for trial Monday on second-degree murder charges in the March 2016 fire in Hazleton that killed 58-year-old Gordon Wanser.

Authorities alleged that during an argument, McQueen lit a box on fire and tossed it at Reimiller in anger, and that started a blaze that spread to the whole building. Wanser died of smoke inhalation.

Luzerne County Judge Michael Vough sentenced McQueen to eight to 16 years and Reimiller to six to 12 years in state prison. Both will be credited for more than a year spent behind bars since their arrests.

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