Investigators: Deadly Brick Twp. house fire ruled an accident

Investigators say a southern New Jersey house fire that killed a woman last weekend was an accident.

Ocean County authorities say firefighters found the body of 66-year-old Grace Merkel early Saturday, after they extinguished the blaze at her Brick home.

Investigators determined that the fire started in the master bedroom, adding that a failure of “energized electrical equipment” helped spark the blaze.

Merkel lived alone in the single-story home on Dock Road, and no other injuries were reported in the fire.

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An autopsy determined that the burn injuries Merkel received were consistent with the fire and that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

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