Arson detectives assist investigation of Northland fire that killed middle-aged woman

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police arson detectives are investigating the death of a Northland woman in a house fire Wednesday.

A neighbor called 911 after seeing smoke coming from the home just after 7 a.m. Firefighters found the victim inside a smoke-filled home near NE Munger Avenue and NE Lancaster Street.

Emergency responders said it appears the fire originated in a basement stairwell of the home and had been smoldering for a while, filling the house with smoke. They did not say exactly how the fire may have started.

Firefighters found only one person inside, a middle-aged woman dead in her bedroom.

Police are investigating her death as well as assisting the fire department in determining how the blaze started.

"We always bring out KCPD, even for non-fatality fires," Deputy Chief James Walker, of the KCFD, said. "If we question the cause of the fire, we bring them out to assist in the investigation. But especially in a case where we have a fatality."

Walker told FOX4 he doesn't know yet if the home had a working smoke detector. That's part of the investigation as well.

He says anyone in Kansas City can get a smoke alarm for free, and firefighters will even come out to your home and install it for you at no charge.

Friends or family members of the victim who arrived on the scene declined to speak with reporters.

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