Coroner identifies woman who died in West Manchester Twp. house fire

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch
West Manchester Township Fire Chief Clif Laughman surveys the scene of a fatal fire on Lark Drive Wednesday, June 10, 2020. A woman died in the overnight blaze. Bill Kalina photo

An 85-year-old woman died in an early-morning fire Wednesday in West Manchester Township that destroyed her house and caused approximately $160,000 in damage, officials said.

The deceased woman was identified Wednesday afternoon as (Mary) Evelyn Gentzler by York County Coroner Pam Gay.

Gentzler was pronounced dead in her home at 1:48 a.m. No autopsy was conducted, and her cause and manner of death are pending toxicology results, Gay said.

West Manchester Township Fire Chief Clif Laughman said Gentzler was partially bedridden and lived primarily in her living room, where the blaze is believed to have started.

“There was a significant amount of damage in the living room and kitchen areas,” Laughman said. “We’re not totally sure what caused it yet, but we think it first started in the living room area.”

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A woman died in an overnight blaze which destroyed a house on Lark Drive Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

He said Gentzler, who lived alone, was on oxygen and was a smoker, and that may have played a role in the fire.  

“We’re not going to rule it out,” Laughman said. 

The home is located in the 3000 block of Lark Drive near the intersection of Dill Road and Hull Drive.

Laughman said the house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. He said the blaze was under control in about an hour, but some units remained on the scene for approximately five hours.

A state police fire marshal and the West Manchester Police Department are working to determine the cause of the blaze, which started just before midnight.

  — Ron Musselman can be reached at or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.

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