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Body of woman found after Muskegon Heights fire identified

Posted at 3:57 PM, Apr 25, 2018

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. - The identity of the woman's body found after a fire over the weekend has been identified.

The Muskegon Heights Fire Department says that the victim in Saturday's fire was 48-year-old Yolanda Tate. Her body was found in the boarded up home in the 2900 block of 6th Street after the fire.  Officials say that Tate lived in the 2800 block of Baker Street and that they don't know why she was in the building that burned.  The Michigan State Police fire investigators say they found a lighter in Tate's hand.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.  Investigators say the lighter could have been used to either intentionally start the fire or it was an accident.  They also say Tate could have been using the lighter to light up the inside of the home to see.

Investigators say that neighbors have reported to police that there was activity around the home on 6th Street about 40 minutes before the fire was reported.  The noise was described to police as loud music and banging.

The fire department is also investigating how Tate's body was missed in the initial response to the fire on April 21. Tate's body was found on April 24.  Her body was found under debris from the roof, which had collapsed.  They say that the initial review shows that firefighters took all appropriate actions, including the use of thermal imaging cameras and other equipment.