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May 3, 2014

Three evacuated after early morning fire in Moxham

— 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 - the first floor especially, where an elderly couple lost nearly everything.

“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.”

7th Ward and West End EMS personnel took both to Memorial Medical Center - they were treated for smoke inhalation, he 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.

Horner said the Red Cross, which provides temporary shelter for fire victims, has been notified.

The man living in the 2nd floor apartment was unscathed, except for “moderate” smoke inhalation, he 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 1st 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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