By Peter Becker

Managing Editor

LACKAWAXEN TWP.-A woman from New Jersey was found deceased in the ruins of a house fire in the Masthope Falling Waters community, that occurred Monday night Feb. 4.

State Police Blooming Grove barracks withheld the identity of the victim, pending positive identification and notification of her relatives. Police said she was a 53 year old female, from Union, NJ.

Central Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched at 9:23 p.m., when a neighbor reported discovering the fire. The blaze was occurring at 259 Powderhorn Drive.

A message left for Central Fire Department officials had not yet been returned. Lackawaxen Fire Chief Richard Krochta, who was operating a tanker shuttle during the effort, said concern was raised by an unlocked car that was in the driveway, with a baby seat inside.

He said that the daughter of the victim had already left with the baby. State Police Fire Marshal Unit officers were on scene the next day with search dogs. The victim was located in a first floor bedroom under a pile of debris.

The house was already fully involved in fire upon arrival of the fire departments. Krochta said that fire was coming through the windows. At about 9:40 p.m. there was a dispatch indicating that the structure was close to being fully on the ground.

Little remained except charred ruins on top a raised basement, and a deck.

State Police indicated that the cause of the fire appears to have been accidental, starting with a wood burner in the basement.

In addition to Lackawaxen Fire Department, Central received mutual aid support from Greeley, Forest and Shohola fire departments.

Trooper Edward McCarthy and Trooper Sandra Van Luvender investigated.