- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in western Pennsylvania say smoking materials appear to have started an early morning fire in a downtown Altoona apartment that left two people dead.

WJAC-TV (https://bit.ly/1PmSaIo ) reports that the blaze in the Green Avenue Tower unit was reported at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday and the two victims were pronounced dead at UPMC Altoona shortly afterward.

Fire chief Tim Hileman said a smoking pipe was found inside the apartment. He said the blaze started at the couch in the living room and the cause was what he called “careless use of smoking materials.”

Authority chairman Robin Beck said staff and residents in the 206-unit tower are “obviously very, very upset” by the tragedy and grief counselors will be brought in.

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Information from: WJAC-TV, https://www.wjactv.com

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