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Sister Ruth Penksa, a Grey nun, succumbs to injuries in fire

Sister Ruth Penksa, an 82-year-old Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart, died Wednesday morning at the Burn Treatment Unit of the Erie County Medical Center where she was being treated for injuries in a Dec. 20 fire at her Hertel Avenue apartment.

Penksa was rescued from her burning high-rise apartment but suffered burns and smoke inhalation. She was taken to the burn unit where she remained for more than a week before succumbing to her injuries.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Buffalo fire officials said Friday.

"We are grateful for the concern the community has shown and for all the prayers," Sister Sheila Stone, a fellow Grey Nun and friend of Sister Ruth, told the Western New York Catholic magazine.

Sister Penksa was born and raised on Buffalo's East Side and went on to serve as a teaching nun at the collegiate, high school and grammar school levels.

According to the WNY Catholic, Sister Penksa taught at D'Youville College, Holy Angels Academy, Immaculate Conception School in Eden as well as other schools in Pennsylvania and New York City. She also formerly served as the campus minister at Erie Community College.

Stone was completing funeral arrangements Friday.

Details will be announced when they become available.

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