News

Hoarding a factor in fatal house fire

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 19, 2017 8:37 AM
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(Denver, PA) -- Authorities have released the names of two people who died in a central Pennsylvania house fire last week in which officials said "extreme hoarding" was a factor.

Fire crews in Lancaster County found the victims in a second-floor bedroom after the blaze in the Denver home was reported Wednesday night.

Coroner Stephen Diamantoni said 74-year-old Geoffrey Atwell was pronounced dead at the scene and 77-year-old Lorraine Crouse died at Ephrata Wellspan Community Hospital. Both died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, and their deaths were ruled accidental.

Deputy fire chief Shawn Hilton said that fighting the fire was "slow-going," as crews had to work around "food, trash, clothing - pretty much stacked waist-high throughout the house."

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