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Kentwood FD: Carelessness contributed to fatal apt. fire | News

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Kentwood FD: Carelessness contributed to fatal apt. fire
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KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Kentwood Fire Department says its investigation has determined a double-fatal fire was caused by the careless use of smoking materials.

Two people died in an early-morning fire last Friday in a first-floor apartment in the Wingate Apartments near 32nd Street and Shaffer Ave.

Firefighters said they arrived to find a "relatively small fire" in the first floor unit. They were able to put it out quickly and keep it contained to the one apartment.

The victims have been identified as 51-year-old Mary Hopkins and 61-year-old Edward Newhouse. They shared the apartment. Neighbors say Hopkins used a wheelchair.

Friday afternoon, they were concerned about smoke detectors at the complex.  Hattie Lee said, "They never went off. The smoke alarms never went off."

The Kentwood Fire department went back to the complex Friday afternoon to test the system, which was working.


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