A 79-year-old woman found dead inside her burned-out home on Sunday morning died of acute carbon monoxide toxicity, according to the Adams County coroner.
That means Viola Strausbaugh, of 1873 Mount Hope Road in Hamiltonban Township, died before flames reached her body, Coroner Pat Felix confirmed.
Felix said she's ruled the death accidental.
Strausbaugh's dog also died in the blaze, the coroner said.
Fairfield firefighters and emergency crews were called to the home about 7:45 a.m. Sunday, said Fairfield Assistant Fire Chief Dave Millstein.
There was heavy smoke, with fire coming from one side of the single-story wood-frame home, he said.
"We learned very early on, moments after arrival, that the homeowner was potentially still in there," Millstein said. "But given conditions, we took a defensive strategy until we could get the fire controlled to enter to do a search and rescue."
After about 45 minutes, firefighters entered the home and found Strausbagh dead on the floor of a living room in the rear of the house, he said.
Millstein said the fire appeared to have started in or around the area where Strausbaugh was found.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, according to Millstein. A damage estimate has not yet been determined, but he said the home was a total loss.
One firefighter suffered a minor injury while battling the blaze, Millstein said, but did not require treatment.
An autopsy on Strausbaugh was performed Monday morning, Felix said.
-- Reach staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com, on Twitter @ydcrimetime or at 505-5429.