Fire Kills Three in Pennsylvania Duplex

Sept. 30--A woman rescued from a house fire in Easton early Monday became the third person to die as a result of the fire that also claimed the life of a man and a 4-year-old boy, officials said.

The fire started in an upper apartment in the three-story duplex in the 700 block of Spring Garden Street -- a rental property which Fire Chief John Bast said contained no smoke detectors.

Bast said six people lived in the upper apartment of the twin home. He said the fire started near a clothes dryer in a middle room on the second floor. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Bast said it is not considered to be suspicious.

Jason Soto, who lives in the other half of the twin home, said he helped a woman with a baby crawl along an adjoining roof and through second-floor window in his home. After they were safely rescued, Soto said he tried to enter the neighboring home to look for another child but the smoke was took thick.

The fire was reported to the Northampton County Communications Center at 1:34 a.m., and firefighters had the fire under control in less than an hour.

Four people were taken to the hospital, and the Lehigh County Coroner's Office confirmed a woman taken to the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest has died.

The identities of the victims have not been released.

This was the first fatal fire in Easton since 2001.

Reporter Tracy Jordan contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 - The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

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