Mon. 3pm: Investigation ongoing in fatal Howland fire

HOWLAND – The fire department says that oxygen may not have a played a role in a fatal fire Jan. 25 that killed a 1393 DeForest Road S.E. woman.

Initial reports said an oxygen tank was found in the home, but township fire Chief James Pantalone said in a news release that the victim, Joyce Barker, 71, did not use oxygen regularly and that when the tank was found by firefighters it was not damaged in any way.

Preliminary test results by the Trumbull County Coroner’s office show that Barker died of smoke inhalation, the release states.

Barker had a medical alert switch on her wrist, but the switch only alerted a neighbor or a family member and not 911, the release states.

An investigation continues.