- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in northeastern Pennsylvania say fire claimed the life of a woman overnight.

Officials in Luzerne County say crews were called to the Wilkes-Barre residence just before 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Assistant Fire Chief Thomas Makar said firefighters reported flames and heavy smoke when they arrived.

He said a woman was found unconscious in the attic of the home, and she was pronounced dead at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital less than an hour later.

Coroner Bill Lisman identified the victim as 51-year-old Laurie Merritt. He said an autopsy was planned to determine the cause of death.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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