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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. 

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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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