Sheriff officials continue search for cause of fatal fire

Dennis Mansfield

KALKASKA TWP. — Kalkaska County Sheriff Department officials are still searching for the cause of a fire that killed a 77-year-old woman on Aug. 19, despite the heroics of one of the department’s deputies.

Officials released the name of the victim, 77-year-old Ruth Coan of Kalkaska, who passed after sustaining fatal injuries in the blaze that was reported shortly before 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 19 at a residence in Kalkaska Township, near the intersection of M-66 and US-131.

Coan was pulled from the residence by KCSD Deputy Kyle Beaver, who was on patrol and about a mile from the blaze when it was reported, moments before the home reportedly became fully engulfed in flames.

Beaver was quickly assisted by Officer Scott Clark of the Kalkaska Department of Public Safety. The two moved the victim further away from the house, where Clark then began performing CPR on the woman.

The victim was initially transported to Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, before being transferred to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, where she was treated for severe burns and smoke inhalation. She later passed away as a result of her injuries. 

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