Joy Ann Kachelries, 66, of Tamaqua, died a few hours after being evacuated from 44 West Broad St. late Wednesday night after firefighters and code enforcement officers found unsafe levels of carbon monoxide (CO) throughout the building. The building is occupied by Handyman's Thrift Shop and three apartments above.
Around 5 p.m. firefighters were called to the apartment after a CO alarm went off, which prompted a tenant to call 911. Further investigation by firefighters and code enforcement officers resulted in them finding dangerous levels of CO, as well as other safety issues, and eventually evacuating all three apartments and condemning the building.
Signs placed on all outside doors and windows of the building state, "This structure is declared unsafe for human occupancy or use. It is unlawful for any person to enter or occupy this building."
Members of the Tamaqua Salvation Army and American Red Cross were called to offer temporary shelter and other assistance to all seven tenants and their pets.
Only a few hours prior to Kachelries's passing, volunteers with the Tamaqua Salvation Army had dropped her and her important belongings off with her brother at a home on the 400 block of West Broad Street. Volunteers stated that this was a sad surprise to them, as they recalled her talking and laughing with her brother when they left.
This apartment building was one of four Tamaqua homes along West Broad Street evacuated Wednesday after tenants called 911 to report their CO detector going off. Fourteen tenants and 10 pets were also evacuated Wednesday from homes located at 228 to 332 West Broad St. after officials found deadly levels of CO in their homes.
For more information, see yesterday's front page story.
Joy Ann Kachelries, was survived by her daughters Cheryl Nemeth and her husband, Paul of Tamaqua and Crystal Kalchelries of Alliance, Ohio; grandsons Joshua and Jack Nemeth; brother Richard Light of Tamaqua. Her full obituary appears on Page 4 of today's TIMES NEWS.
Officials said that Kachelries died from heart-related issues that may, or may not, have been aggravated by the stress of the incident.