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      UPDATE: Fatal fire in Caspian

      Update 11:28 a.m. Thursday 1-15

      The Michigan State Police have released the names of the victim who's life was claimed by this fire.

      They are saying that the property owner who died in the blaze is 58 year old Richard Taylor.

      The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Michigan State Police and the Fire Marshal Division.


      A house fire in Caspian left one person dead on Wednesday. The blaze started just after midnight central time and firefighters from the Gastra-Caspian Fire Department responded to the scene. The name of the victim is not being released pending the medical examiner's report, and the cause of the fire has not been determined, however, the state fire marshal has been called in to assist with the investigation.

      Fire crews were still mopping up hot spots and searching for victims late this morning. It took two fire engines and 21 firefighters to contain the blaze that totally destroyed a two-story house on Lawrence Street. Below-zero temperatures and arctic windchills made it a long night for the Gastra-Caspian Fire Department, which finally cleared the scene after twelve straight hours of work.

      Upon arriving, firefighters found the house fully engulfed in flames.

      "The upper floor had already caved into the bottom floor and it was fully involved when we were here," said Tony Tomasoski, Gastra-Caspian fire chief.

      After the blaze was extinguished, the crews had to pump water from the basement so they could continue searching for the victim who had been trapped inside the house.

      "The body was recovered about eleven o'clock and it was found in the entrance to the front porch," Tomasoski said.

      The body was sent to the medical examiner to determine identity and cause of death.

      The state fire marshal, along with local fire officials and the Michigan State Police Iron River post, are continuing to determine the cause of the fire.

      Officials stated that there was one witness who was in the house at the time the fire started. The name of the witness has not been released, however, officials are hoping that questioning the individual will help them find answers as to what caused the fire.