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Racine Fire Department releases cause that killed 65-year-old woman in house fire

Updated 03:10 p.m. on March 29, 2018

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Racine Fire Department has now released the cause of the fire that killed a 65-year-old woman.

According to a release, the investigation found that careless use of smoking materials caused the fire.

The autopsy confirmed the cause of death as smoke/soot inhalation as well as CO poisoning.

The victim has been identified as Rae-Ellen Mahnke.

The Fire Department would again like to remind people to verify that smoke alarms are in working order and to never smoke where you sleep. 


RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Racine Fire Department responded to a home on Gilson Street just before 6:30 AM Sunday for a fire.

When firefighters arrived and searched the house they found a resident suffering from “injuries unsustainable to life.”

Firefighters also found three deceased pets inside the home.

The fire damage was primarily contained to a bedroom with smoke damage extending through the rest of the home.

The fire caused an estimated $70,000 worth of damage. The source of the fire is still under investigation.

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