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Last updated: Mon. Jun. 14, 2010 - 01:17 pm EDT

Roof cave-in claims city woman

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An elderly woman is dead after the ceiling inside her southwest Fort Wayne home collapsed Sunday.

Fort Wayne police and firefighters were called just before 4 p.m. Sunday to 4108 E. Saddle Drive, just north of Aboite Center Road, on a report of a collapse. Firefighters removed a piece of ceiling from inside the home and were examining it in the front yard outside, which was cordoned off with crime scene tape.

A woman inside was pronounced dead at the scene, according to officer John Chambers, a police spokesman.“The drywall basically came down from the ceiling,” he said, adding that police believe the woman was sitting in a chair or on a couch at the time the ceiling caved in.

An official cause and manner of death for the woman has not been released, pending the results of an autopsy. The woman’s identity has not been released.

William Brase, of Fort Wayne, who identified himself as the deceased woman’s boyfriend, said he called the woman several times Sunday and never heard back. He decided to visit her home, and found part of the ceiling had collapsed into the family room.

He had a neighbor call 911.

“She was just a quiet lady and never got into any trouble,” Brase said, adding that they had dated for years.

Fort Wayne police called crime scene investigators to document evidence at the home. A Fort Wayne Neighborhood Code Enforcement worker was also at the home aiding in the investigation.

Brase said the victim had a new roof installed about five years ago. Neighbors said the woman lived alone, and Brase said she had no children.

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