Fatal apartment fire blamed on dropped cigarette

LATROBE, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a fire in a western Pennsylvania apartment that claimed the life of a woman was apparently started by a dropped cigarette.

Officials in Westmoreland County say the blaze was reported at 11 p.m. Friday in a home in Latrobe.

The coroner’s office said 52-year-old Catherine Vaccare was taken to the Excela Latrobe emergency department, where she was pronounced dead.

Latrobe fire chief John Vasile told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the blaze was ruled accidental. He said it appeared that Vaccare fell asleep on her couch and dropped a lit cigarette.

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