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Pittsburgh man charged in deadly duplex blaze

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A man has been charged with starting a fire in a duplex that killed a mother and her three children last week.

Frederick Anthony Robinson, 51, was charged Friday with counts including criminal homicide and arson, state police Lt. Scott Neal said.

The Sept. 2 fire killed Crystal M. Johnson, 41; Rebecca J. White, 11; Jacob J. Patrono, 5, and Cynthia Johnson, 2. All died of smoke inhalation.

Robinson was a longtime friend of Johnson's and lived in a hotel about three blocks from the family's house, Neal said.

The early morning fire in Apollo, about 32 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, apparently began on the porch and spread rapidly into the duplex, destroying both units, authorities said.