Sterling Heights — An elderly woman died Tuesday morning after a fire in her Sterling Heights home.

Chief Chris Martin said the fire was reported before 5 a.m. in the 42000 block Hanks Lane, south of 19 Mile, west of Mound.

Firefighters said they found Marcella Nowak, 93, about 15 feet inside the front entrance of the home where they believe she was overcome by smoke as she tried to escape the fire. She was taken to Beaumont Hospital Troy, where she was pronounced dead. Her two cats died in the fire.

Investigators believe food left unattended as it cooked caused the fire, according to a statement.


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