Mother, 2 children die in central Pennsylvania house fire; cause under investigation


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ALTOONA, Pennsylvania — Authorities in central Pennsylvania say fire has claimed the lives of a mother and two young children.

Officials in Blair County said the blaze in the Altoona residence was reported just after 11 a.m. Saturday.

Coroner Patricia Ross told The (Altoona) Mirror ( ) that 31-year-old Jessica Giarth was killed along with 9-year-old Kea Barnes and 20-month-old Lyric Giarth.

Ross says Barnes was found dead inside the 2½-story, wood-frame house while the other two victims were pronounced dead at UPMC Altoona. She says all three died of smoke inhalation.

An Altoona fire inspector, a state police fire marshal and city police are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Information from: Altoona Mirror,

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