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Investigators: Southern New Jersey house fire that killed woman was an accident


BRICK TOWNSHIP, New Jersey — Investigators say a southern New Jersey house fire that killed a woman last weekend was an accident.

Ocean County authorities say firefighters found the body of 66-year-old Grace Merkel early Saturday, after they extinguished the blaze at her Brick home.

Investigators determined that the fire started in the master bedroom, adding that a failure of "energized electrical equipment" helped spark the blaze.

Merkel lived alone in the single-story home on Dock Road, and no other injuries were reported in the fire.

An autopsy determined that the burn injuries Merkel received were consistent with the fire and that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

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