3 brothers with mental disabilities found dead after house fire

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NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) – Three mentally disabled brothers have been found dead in a western Pennsylvania house fire that appears to have been fueled by a flammable liquid in several spots.

That’s why state police and the Lawrence County coroner are treating the deaths of Daniel, Robert and Richard Fombelle as homicides – though they haven’t ruled out that one or more of the brothers may have caused the Thursday morning blaze in Shenango Township. The brothers were all in their 50s and lived alone in the home.

State police believe the fire may have started around 5 a.m. when some neighbors smelled smoke, but it wasn’t reported until someone saw flames glowing in the basement about 7:30 a.m. The brothers weren’t burned and were found in a remote part of the basement.

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This story has been corrected to show the spelling of the brothers’ last name is Fombelle, not Fombell.

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