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Baby alone when makeshift heater started fire, police say - abc27 WHTM

Baby alone when makeshift heater started fire, police say

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Timothy R. Lipscomb Timothy R. Lipscomb
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

A Harrisburg man is facing charges after police said he left his 11-month-old son alone with makeshift heaters before coming home to a fire that injured the two, damaged four homes and displaced eight other people.

Timothy R. Lipscomb, 28, has been charged with causing a catastrophe, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child, and fictitious reports in connection with the fire Jan. 10 in the 1900 block of N. 2nd Street.

According to charging documents, Lipscomb placed the baby in a playpen and left him alone with two makeshift heaters in his second floor apartment at 1927 N. 2nd Street.

One of the heaters, left near the child, was a bread pan with eight lit candles and two terra cotta pots placed over them, and the other heater was similarly made, the complaint states.

Lipscomb told investigators that when he returned to the apartment about two hours later, fire alarms were going off and his apartment was filled with smoke, the document states.

He was able to rescue the child and both were treated at Harrisburg Hospital for smoke inhalation. The boy was later transferred to Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Lipscomb initially told police that he was sleeping and awoke to find his apartment on fire. He later admitted to leaving his son alone, the complaint states.

Authorities said 1927 N. 2nd was engulfed in flames when firefighters and ambulances arrived, and the fire had spread to homes at 1925, 1929 and 1931.

Investigators determined the fire started in the bedroom of Lipscomb's apartment and the point of origin is where he placed one of the makeshift heaters.

Lipscomb was arraigned Monday and released on $50,000 unsecured bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 30.

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare stressed its Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the wake of this fire.

Deputy Press Secretary Kait Gillis told abc27 there are still plenty of federal funds available for low-income families to have their home heating bills paid in full. There is also "crisis" funding for those who meet the same income requirements and are in danger of being shut off.

For more information, call the LIHEAP hotline at: 1-866-857-7095.

You can also apply online: www.compass.state.pa.us.

 

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