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Man dies in fire at home piled chest-high with debris

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - An elderly man was killed when his home, piled high with debris, burst into flames and he was unable to escape through a crammed door, firefighters said on Thursday.

Firefighters trying to battle the blaze pushed their way into the home jammed with pizza boxes and other detritus and found the body of John Rabusseau, 77, early Wednesday morning.

"He was a hoarder, which they attribute to part of why he died because he couldn't get out the door," said Crystal Rosensteel, a records clerk at the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire.

"They actually had to force the door open because of all the debris," she said.

The body was found near the front door of the Crafton Heights home, which was filled with refuse Rabusseau had collected, the fire spokeswoman said.

Investigators were trying to determine the cause of the fire, which began in a first-floor kitchen.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said Rabusseau died of smoke inhalation and burns.

(Reporting by Daniel Lovering; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)

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