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UPDATE: Names, cause of fatal fire released

Submitted by on February 9, 2020 – 7:56 pmNo Comment

Investigators have released the names of the victims and the cause of a fatal fire that took the life of an Alpena man Saturday morning. 

The fire broke out shortly after 11 a.m. at the home of William and Mary Smith on LaForest Avenue. 

A city police officer and an off duty firefighter were first to arrive on scene and attempted to enter the house but were pushed back by dense smoke and intense heat.

When firefighters arrived they entered the residence and were able to rescue 76 year-old Mary Smith.  William Smith, 84, was also removed from the home but died at the scene.  Mary was initially transported to the Alpena hospital and later airlifted to the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center where she is undergoing treatment for her injuries.

Investigators believe William was smoking and that his oxygen therapy system caught fire and spread to the room where he and his wife were sitting.

Police officer Lincoln Suszek and off duty Fire Captain Andy Marceau were the first to enter the house.  Suszek was taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries and later released.

Charter Township of Alpena firefighters assisted at the scene.  Damage was contained to the room where the fire started.