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      Woman dies of heart attack after smoke, flames race through her home

      64-year-old Linda McAlpin narrowly escaped a fire that ripped quickly through her home in Almira Township on Wednesday.

      One woman died of a heart attack after breathing in hot gases when a fire moved quickly through her home.

      64-year-old Linda McAlpin narrowly escaped a fire that ripped quickly through her home in Almira Township on Wednesday.

      McAlpin was found outside her home on Cottonwood Court by firefighters after she called 911 and was forced off her deck by heavy flames, heat and smoke.

      An autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was fire related.

      The Almira Fire Chief says the blaze burned for about 5 hours, bolstered by 25 mile per hour winds. Flames spread to a detached garage before any fire personnel were able to get there.

      The Chief says both the home and the garage were fully engulfed and are considered a total loss.

      Heat from the fire melted siding on the neighbor's home as well.

      Two dogs were able to escape the fire and were taken to Benzie County Animal Control for treatment. Several other pets died in the fire.

      The family is receiving assistance from the American Red Cross of Northwest Michigan.