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Originally published Friday, June 29, 2012 at 5:31 AM

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Victim in Whatcom fire was under investigation

The Whatcom County sheriff's office says a woman who was found dead in a house fire was suspected of embezzling $100,000.

The Associated Press

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. —

The Whatcom County sheriff's office says a woman who was found dead in a house fire was suspected of embezzling $100,000.

A detective had knocked on Belinda K. Barnett's door early Wednesday to question her but nobody answered. Later that morning firefighters responded to flames shooting from the doublewide mobile home. After knocking down the fire, they found her body.

The Bellingham Herald reports (http://is.gd/pTxFfe) the 45-year-old woman died of smoke inhalation.

She was never arrested or charged in the theft case.

Fire District 14 Chief Jerry DeBruin said the fire appeared to have started in a bedroom. The county fire marshal and the sheriff's office are investigating.

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Information from: The Bellingham Herald, http://www.bellinghamherald.com

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