MULBERRY, Kansas — Authorities were still investigating Saturday afternoon the cause of death for a woman found by firefighters while they extinguishing a house fire Friday morning.

Crawford County Sheriff Dan Peak said Saturday that he had not yet received any preliminary results of an autopsy for Susan E. Montanye, 59. He expected those would be available at the beginning of the work week and said that authorities are not ruling out anything as a cause of death until those results come in.

County 911 services at 3:36 a.m. Friday received a report of a structure fire at 308 N. Military in Mulberry. Firefighters spent several hours putting out the fire, Peak said, which engulfed the entire house. The structure is considered a total loss, he said.

While fighting the blaze, firefighters discovered the body of a deceased woman who was later identified as Montanye, the owner of the property, according to a statement from the sheriff's office. 

No one else was in the home at the time of the fire, Peak said, and there were no other injuries. 

The Kansas State Fire Marshal's office was contacted to investigate the cause of the fire, and the Crawford County coroner ordered Montanye's body be sent for an autopsy in Kansas City, Kansas, according to the sheriff's office.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Peak said Saturday afternoon.

Allie Hinga is a reporter for The Joplin Globe. Address correspondence to Allie Hinga, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email

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