DORR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - Careless smoking in the mud room of a home is the preliminary cause of a fire that resulted in the death of a 41-year-old man.
The victim has been identified as Paul Smit.
Smit, his wife and one of their four children were sleeping when the fire sparked around 2 a.m., according to an investigator at the scene. The family then awoke, and Paul went to investigate as his wife and the teenage son went outside. But Paul never made it out of the home.
His body was later found in the basement after he fell through the first-level floor, which gave out during the fire, in the house in the 2000 block of 137th Avenue in Dorr Township, authorities said.
Dorr Township Fire Chief Harold Schumaker told 24 Hour News 8 the home was engulfed when crews arrived, and crews were unable to go into the home due to the fire's intensity. He said it is a modular home, which can burn easier than other types of houses.
Firefighters from three departments used tanker trucks and water from a pond a quarter of a mile away, due to no hydrants in the area.
Chief Schumaker said it is unknown if smoke detectors were working in the home when the fire started.
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