Officials tentatively ID body found in home after fire - WNEM TV 5

Officials tentatively ID body found in home after fire

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TUSCOLA COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A body was found after officials responded to a house fire, and now officials have tentatively identified the victim.

There's not much left of the 20-by-24 foot house that went up in flames on the 5700 block of Sheridan Road, near Saginaw Road in Vassar Township about 2:17 a.m. on Tuesday.

Chief Gary Millerov from the Vassar Fire Department said the fire had been going on for quite a while before crews had gotten to it.

"Everything was pretty well gone," Millerov said. "It was right down flat with the floor."

A passerby saw the house on fire and called 911. The house was fully engulfed in flames when emergency responders arrived, the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Vassar Fire Department located a body inside the home on a charred mattress set in the bedroom. The victim has tentatively been identified as 54-year-old Jason Whittaker. A positive identification is pending the result of DNA test results.  Tuscola County Medical Examiners say Whittaker died of smoke inhalation.

Officials said the house was in the process of being restored. A neighbor across the street said a family was planning on moving into the house.

"There wasn't anybody living there at the time, they're fixing it up to move in," said neighbor Robin Williams. "I know they had two boys and a dad and a mom."

A pickup truck parked in front of the house was also destroyed.

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