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Published: Sunday, 1/20/2008

Woman, 80, and her dog die in Fremont fire

FREMONT - An 80-year-old Fremont woman has died after a fire in her home.

Genevieve Wagner, who lived in the city all her life, died in Fremont Memorial Hospital on Friday shortly after she was taken there from her home at 906 White Ave.

Ms. Wagner, who had Parkinson's disease and used an electric wheelchair, was alone at the time of the blaze, except for her pet Chihuahua, Tootsie, which also died in the fire. The blaze was reported about 11:50 a.m. by a granddaughter-in-law who went to check on her, said Rosie Klos, one of Ms. Wagner's six children.

A son lived with her, but was at work at the time. A daughter had been at the home but left for a quick trip to the grocery store; she had asked the granddaughter-in-law to check on Ms. Wagner.

She was only alone for about 20 minutes, Ms. Klos said.

"That's how fast something like this can happen," she said.

The Ohio Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause of the blaze, Fremont Lt. John Burmeister said.

Fremont is 33 miles southeast of Toledo.

The fire started in a first-floor living room that had been converted to be Ms. Wagner's bedroom in the two-story brick home, Lieutenant Burmeister said.

The blaze was contained mostly to that room with smoke damage throughout the house. Damage was estimated at about $30,000, he said.

The Keller-Ochs-Koch Funeral Home, Fremont, is handling the arrangements.

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