The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 3, 2014

Couple in 70s treated after fleeing burning home

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown fire officials said three people were evacuated from their homes after an early morning fire Friday in the city’s Moxham neighborhood. Two were taken to Memorial Medical Center for evaluation.

Johnstown firefighters were called just after 1 a.m. to 725 Linden Ave. Assistant Fire Chief Tom Horner said the two-story, single-dwelling home, which was converted into two apartments, was heavily damaged by smoke and heat, especially on the first floor, where an older couple lost nearly everything.

Names of the couple and a second-floor occupant were not available.

“They pretty much got out with what clothes they had on,” Horner said of the 76- and 71-year-old husband and wife.

“The husband didn’t even have any shoes.”

Personnel from 7th Ward Ambulance and West End EMS took both to Memorial Medical Center. They were treated for smoke inhalation, Horner said.

The husband has since been released, but the wife, Horner said, will require additional supervision after non-life-threatening levels of carbon monoxide were found in her blood.

The Red Cross, which provides temporary shelter for fire victims, has been notified, he said.

The man living in the second floor apartment was unscathed, except for “moderate” smoke inhalation, Horner said, and may be able to salvage some of his possessions.

Horner said the fire was caused by discarded smoking material, like a cigarette. The fire caught in the first floor bedroom and spread to the bathroom.

Johnstown firefighters cleared the scene roughly two hours after arrival, Horner said.

Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @JustinDennis.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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