Donora woman found dead after fire

December 8, 2013
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
A fire severely damaged a house at 1323 Fayette Donora early Sunday. Gelinda D. “Mio” Giles, 52, was found dead after the fire. Order a Print
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Gelinda D. “Mio” Giles, 52, was found dead early Sunday after a fire was extinguished at her home at 1323 Fayette Avenue in Donora.

DONORA – A Donora police officer was injured in a fruitless attempt to rescue a borough woman who was found dead in her home after a fire broke out there early Sunday.

The state police fire marshal identified the victim as Gelinda D. “Mio” Giles, 52, whose home at 1323 Fayette Ave. in Donora was severely damaged in the 3:02 a.m. fire.

Washington County Coroner Tim Warco said the woman’s body was found on the second floor of the home and rulings on the cause and manner of her death were pending an autopsy and further investigation.

Giles, who worked for nearly two decades as a Ringgold School District bus driver, was pronounced dead at the fire scene at 4:20 a.m., Warco stated.

The fire marshal’s office said Donora officer William Dennison was treated at a local hospital after he suffered a shoulder injury while trying to get inside the house.

Ringgold Superintendent Karen Polkabla said Giles was a “really dependable, faithful” bus driver.

“I am sure she is going to be missed by the students and the administration, as well,” Polkabla said.

She said Giles had a daughter, Questa Giles.

The fire caused nearly $50,000 in damages to the 2-story single-family aluminum-sided dwelling, the fire marshal’s news release stated.

Firefighters from Donora, New Eagle and Carroll Township responded, along with Mon Valley EMS and Donora police.

The fire marshal is continuing to investigate the cause of the fire, and asked anyone with information to call police at 724-223-5200.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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