Topton car fire victim identified as lost 71-year-old Quakertown woman

A Quakertown 71-year-old woman has been identified as the victim firefighters found inside a burning car pulled from Toad Creek at Topton Community Park on Sunday at 5:15 a.m.

Police released the name of the victim as Kathryn Ercolino, 71, Quakertown.

According to the police report, the “investigation revealed that Ercolino was lost and ended up in Toad Creek. Through the investigation it was revealed that residents heard a motor racing overnight. This caused the catalytic converter to heat up thus starting the fire.”

The cause of death, determined at the autopsy, was thermal injuries and smoke inhalation, according to the report.


On Sunday, a brush fire was called into Berks County Radio at 5:14 a.m. “Fire personnel arrived on scene minutes later to find a vehicle fully engulfed in flames,” according to a State Police Reading report.

“Once the fire was extinguished, a body was discovered in the passenger compartment,” according to the report.

The Troop L Major Case Team was activated, along with the Troop L Fire Marshal Unit, to investigate the incident. The Berks County Coroner’s Office was also investigating.

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Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.