Margaret L. Mann, 68, was found dead the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, inside her 1724 Devers Road home in York City. It’s believed she was
Margaret L. Mann, 68, was found dead the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, inside her 1724 Devers Road home in York City. It's believed she was overcome by smoke from a small fire in her couch, caused by careless smoking. (John A. Pavoncello)

An autopsy Monday has failed to determined the cause of death for a woman found dead inside her smoke-filled home on Sunday afternoon.

The York County Coroner's Office said rulings on the cause and manner of death for Margaret L. Mann, 68, will be made after results are available on Mann's toxicology tests.

Toxicology testing can take up to three months, the office said. The autopsy was done Monday morning at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital, officials said.

Mann was found in her 1724 Devers Road home about 5:15 p.m. Sunday by a family friend who acted as her caretaker, according to York City Fire Chief David Michaels.

On Monday, Michaels said investigators determined the small fire started when Mann dropped a cigarette on her couch.

The fire -- which didn't spread and burned itself out -- has been ruled accidental, he said. A state police fire marshal and York City police and fire officials investigated.

"It was more of a smoldering fire that produced a lot of heavy smoke," Michaels said.

Mann suffered from health problems and was on oxygen, the chief confirmed.

It appears she was asleep when the cigarette started her couch on fire, then woke up and tried to flee the house but was overcome by smoke, he said.

It's likely the fire started Saturday afternoon, Michaels said.

Because it burned itself out, Mann's neighbors were unaware of it, he said.

There was one smoke detector found in Mann's home, but it did not have a battery in it, fire officials said.

The house is salvageable, although thick black smoke from the blaze left walls covered in soot, and those walls must be replaced, Michaels said. Damage is estimated at $70,000, he said.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.


York City residents who don't have smoke detectors can get them free from York City's fire department. If asked, firefighters will even come to the property and install the correct number of detectors in the proper location. To request a smoke detector, call the fire chief's office at 854-3921.