UPDATE: Former Costa Rican Educator Killed in Irvington Township House Fire
The Essex County Prosecutor's office officially identified a person killed when a fast-moving fire ripped through a basement apartment in Irvington Township on Christmas Eve morning.
According to county officials, Ms. Geovanna Mora-Gamboa, 47, was the only person in the 76 41st Street home when the fire broke out Sunday at approximately 5:30 p.m.
Official say Mora-Gamboa was unconscious when emergency crews found her in her apartment. EMS rushed her to the hospital where doctors pronounced her dead a short time later.
Fast responding Irvington firefighters knocked down the blaze in under a half-hour.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
According to school officials at Escuela de Excelencia Los Geranios, Guácimo Limón Province Costa Rica, Geovanna Mora-Gamboa was an educator at the school before leaving for the United States.
Costa Rican school officials released the following statement:
"The teaching and administrative staff communicate with great regret the passing of those who for many years worked as a teacher in our institution, the dear Geovanna Mora Gamboa. Today we join the pain that overwhelms the family and ask God to provide the strength necessary to face this moment. We appreciate the prayers that can be raised to heaven so that your family in the midst of pain find the peace they need".
On Dec 26, 2016, a massive fire ripped through a house at 21 40th Street that killed a 60-year-old resident.
Since 2015, -besides 2017- there have been at least one fatal building fire a year in the Township. Irvington officials have not said if any of the burned structures have met fire code with working fire alarms, fire escapes, or emergency doors.
This is a list of fatal fires since 2015:
A cause of death for Ms. Mora-Gamboa has not been disclosed at this time.