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Published: 2/20/2009

2 causes being investigated in fire that killed Toledo woman

BLADE STAFF
An investigator from the coroner's office exits the home at 331 Austin in North Toledo, where resident Charline Spearman died last night. An investigator from the coroner's office exits the home at 331 Austin in North Toledo, where resident Charline Spearman died last night.
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Spearman Spearman
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Toledo firefighters are continuing to investigate a fire in North Toledo early Thursday morning, where a 52-year-old woman was found dead inside.

Charline Spearman was found about 2:30 a.m. by firefighters called to her house at 331 Austin St., near Elm St.

Assistant Fire Chief Luis Santiago said fire investigators are looking at two potential causes of the fire.

The mechanical bed which Ms. Spearman used will be examined by an engineer to determine if faulty parts caused the fire. Ms. Spearman had been bedridden for the last three years.

Assistant Chief Santiago said authorities also will work to determine whether or not a lit cigarette sparked the fire.

He said the fire started on the bed and cause little other damage to the house. The bed is located in a dining room on the first floor.

"There was very little smoke damage within the room itself," Chief Santiago said.

A smoke detector alerted two teenagers who were sleeping upstairs of the fire. They escaped unhurt. Assistant Chief Santiago said authorities are unsure if there were attempts to get Ms. Spearman out of the house.




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