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Victim Of Cambria County House Fire Identified

During a press conference Thursday morning, Cambria County coroner Jeff Lees identified the victim of Wednesday’s fatal house fire in Adams Township.

Lees said officials identified the victim, via dental records, as 47-year-old April Baxendale.

Investigators say Baxendale died as a result of toxic smoke and gas inhalation, as well as thermal injuries, including burns on 75-percent of her body.

Authorities say Baxendale and a relative were reportedly sleeping in a portable tent, in the first-floor living area of their Mount Airy Drive residence, when flames broke out.

Officials say an initial investigation indicates that the fire started from a faulty space heater that was set up near the tent.

Investigators say the relative reportedly fled out of the residence, while Baxendale went to the second floor of the home to alert two other relatives.

Authorities say Baxendale and the other two relatives attempted to escape through a second floor window, however, officials say Baxendale reportedly returned to the residence in an attempt to rescue the family’s pets.

Coroner Lees says Baxendale’s body was found in a second floor bedroom and she was pronounced dead at the scene just after 8 a.m.

Investigators noted that the fire was “fast moving” and added that the family did not have any working smoke detectors inside the home.

Fire officials say the three relatives were transported to Conemaugh Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

A state police fire marshal and local authorities are working to determine the official cause of the blaze.


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