FARMINGTON, Pa. — Authorities say a fire in a rural western Pennsylvania home claimed the life of an assistant county public defender.

Emergency dispatchers say the blaze in Wharton Township was reported shortly before 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

State police in Uniontown say 54-year-old Mary Campbell Spegar, an assistant Fayette County public defender, was killed in the blaze in her home.

Public Defender Jeffrey Whiteko said he was “devastated” and “in shock” when he heard the news about his longtime colleague, who had worked in the public defender’s office for about 20 years.

He described Campbell Spegar as a “hard-worker” who “would fight for every client.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation but it isn’t considered suspicious. Fire departments from Farmington, Addison, Markleysburg, Ohiopyle and Fairchance and emergency medical personnel responded.

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