A woman was killed in a fire at a high-rise apartment building in Johnstown, the Cambria County Coroner confirmed Sunday night.
Fire crews were dispatched around 7:30 p.m. to the Connor Towers building in the 500 block of Vine Street for a blaze on the fifth floor. The two-alarm fire brought crews from the Greater Johnstown area to the scene.
Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees said a woman believed to be in her 70’s was found on a couch in the apartment and was pronounced dead on the scene. An autopsy has been scheduled and Lees said either dental records or DNA will likely be needed to positively identify the victim.
“It was just an unfortunate situation. Anytime you have a fire like this and we’ve been having it only takes a couple of minutes and a couple breaths to become unconscious because of toxic smoke and gas inhalation,” said Lees.
This tragedy is the fifth fire-related death in Johnstown in 2021. In September a fire at a home in Moxham on Highland Avenue claimed the life of two young children, and in May a fire at a home on Clover St in Moxham had the same outcome.
Lees said the apartment from Sundays fatal fire was “totally gutted” by the fire. A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal is investigating what started the fire. However, Johnstown Fire Department Assistant Chief Mick Miller says based on evidence they believe the fire was accidental.
Residents from inside the 13-story structure were evacuated and able to get back into their units Sunday night. No other injures were reported