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York City Fire Chief Chad Deardorff speaks to the media after firefighters battled a blaze in the 600 block of South Pershing Street in York City Thursday, March 5, 2020. York Dispatch

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A carelessly discarded cigarette caused the fire that claimed the life of a York City man earlier this month, officials said Thursday.

York City Fire Chief Chad Deardorff said in a news release the fire that killed Brandon Raye Eaton, 24, on March 5 was determined to be unintentional and started in a first-floor front room.

Eaton died in the three-alarm fire in the 600 block of South Pershing Avenue in York City while trying to rescue dogs trapped in the burning home, officials said. 

He was found deceased in a second-floor rear bedroom at 608 S. Pershing Ave.

More: Officials ID York City man who died trying to rescue dogs from fire

More: York County community rallies to assist victims of deadly fire

York City firefighters responded to a report of a structure fire with possible entrapment about 8 a.m. on March 5. Firefighters battled the fire for more than three hours. 

Several pets also died in the fire, which damaged two neighboring houses and caused about $315,000 in damage, Deardorff said.

The fire displaced 13 adults and four children. One woman was treated at the scene for unknown injuries.

The March 5 fire was the second at the house in a little more than eight hours. Firefighters responded to the duplex about 11:45 p.m. March 4 for a reported structure fire.

Crews discovered a small fire on a second-floor rear porch at 610 S. Pershing Ave. and put it out, officials said.

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8. 

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