Community says elderly woman killed in Niagara Falls fire will be missed

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – She left her mark on the Niagara Falls community in a big way, before she died in a house fire Friday night.

Niagara Falls resident Bernice Coonan died Friday inside her home on Ashland Ave. She was 93 years-old.

“Outgoing, down to earth, always helping anybody,” said former neighbor Joshua Highway. “Would give a homeless person a dollar to catch the bus or something. That’s just you know the type of person she was.”

During a vigil Saturday night, people who knew Coonan, took a look back on her life and the years she spent in the neighborhood helping others.

“She was a good lady, she gave me a loan whenever I needed it,” said Donald Green who know Coonan. “I did her snow for her last year, rake, everything. Took her garbage out when she needed it. She was a good lady and I’m sorry she passed away, go out to the family and friends who knew her.”

“Some of us didn’t remember her name so we called her “Miss B,” Highway said. “That was her name when I moved down the block across the street, was always “Miss B.”

The Niagara Falls Fire Chief tells News 4 responding crews found fire on the first floor coming out of the front window and front door.

“Crews made entry, there was heavy smoke and heavy fire inside the house. They did an initial search and found an elderly woman just inside the doorway,” Chief Joseph Pedulla said.

“The brought the woman out. The did CPR on her, put her in the ambulance, and eventually she succumbed to her injuries from the fire,” he said.

Officials are not releasing the woman’s name at this point.

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