Update: Woman Dead after Apartment Fire in Lackawanna County

CLARKS SUMMIT -- One person died after a fire at an apartment building in Lackawanna County.

The first alarm at Bedford Tower in Clarks Summit came in just before 3 a.m.

Firefighters found one woman dead in the apartment where the fire started on the sixth floor.

A state police fire marshal believes smoking led to the deadly fire.

The body of Marlene Neville, 77, was found in her apartment after flames broke out at a high-rise for the elderly and people with special needs in Clarks Summit.

Update Tuesday: The Lackawanna County coroner said Neville died before the fire from a sudden coronary event.

Joseph Zury has lived there for 16 years. While he didn't know the victim, he said the tragedy affects every one of the building's residents.

“I do got a lot of friends and I really like the people here, you know. They're good people,” he said.

Zury added he heard the alarm and did what he was supposed to do, get out of his room and take the stairs down to the lobby.

Even though the fire was contained to one apartment up on the sixth floor, this fire presented a massive challenge, and that was clearing seven floors of residents.

Iva Reshetar lives on the fourth floor, and part of her job is to help clear her floor when there's an emergency. It isn't easy.

“You just do what your job is and you do what you have to do and get them out. There are some that can't get down the stairs, so you get them in the stairwells,” she said.

Get them in the stairwells, until first responders can get them to safety below. Many of Bedford Tower's residents are elderly and some have special needs.

“It was fully housed at the time, so we had high occupancy at the time. A second alarm was dispatched to assist with evacuation and fire suppression,” explained Clarks Summit Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Yetkowskas.

Firefighters called in a second alarm five minutes after the first. Seven fire companies and eight ambulances were here to make sure the residents of Bedford Tower made it to safety.

The fire damage is confined to one unit, and everyone is now back in their apartments.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.