Woman in her 70s dies in house fire

Emergency crews on the scene of a fatal fire in Kalamazoo Township. (Feb. 12, 2015)

KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — One person was killed in a house fire near Kalamazoo Thursday.

Carol Prior, who was in her 70s, died in the fire, her landlord told 24 Hour News 8.

The fire broke out around 2:30 p.m. in the 500 block of Gayle Avenue, north of Charles Avenue, in Kalamazoo Township. Prior’s daughter Kathy Scheper, who lives at the house, called 911 after the fire started. She escaped safely.

Witnesses saw people run out of the home, but didn’t see Prior.

“Couldn’t figure out where she was,” neighbor Drew Altimari told 24 Hour News 8.

When emergency responders arrived on the scene, moderate smoke was rising from the house.

“I saw a dark brown smoke coming out of the front porch, coming out the back porch, it was just coming out everywhere,” Altimari said.

Firefighters discovered Prior’s body in the living room.

“It was just a scary, unfortunate thing,” Altimari said. “She was a real sweetheart.”

Prior, her daughter and a man neighbors say was Prior’s boyfriend lived in the residence.

Police say the fire is being investigated as if it were suspicious until its cause is determined.

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