House fire claims Livonia woman and 3 dogs

House fire claims Livonia woman and 3 dogs

Posted: Updated:
A fire claimed the life of a 60-year-old woman at this home on Oporto in Livonia. A fire claimed the life of a 60-year-old woman at this home on Oporto in Livonia.
LIVONIA, Mich. (WJBK) -

Livonia firefighters had to break the windows of a ranch home on Oporto, trying to get to the homeowner. Once inside, they found the 60-year-old woman and her three dogs in a bedroom overcome by smoke.

"I looked in the house. It looks like the inside of a barbecue, but the outside doesn't seem damaged," said neighbor Frank Procop.

"There [were] no flames coming out of the roof," said neighbor Edward Sacha.  "As you look at it, you see the outside's intact."

Investigators said that fire could have been smoldering all night long and nobody knew until after 6 a.m. when a neighbor taking out the trash saw the smoke.

Fire Marshall Dan Lee said the fire was likely started by a cigarette or a match that wasn't properly extinguished.

The neighbors said the victim had cared for her sick husband for many years before he was moved to an assisted living facility.

"She kept more and more to herself, and her husband was very ill and got sicker and sicker, and she became more of a recluse," Procop said.

Investigators said she had so much stuff in her house, it was difficult for them to locate her.

Fire investigators told us not one of the smoke detectors in the house was working.

This was the fourth fire-related death in Livonia in just the last six months.

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