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Investigators say deadly house fire caused by careless smoking

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PONCA CITY, Okla. - Ponca City police have identified the elderly woman killed in a house fire on Richway in Ponca City as 81-year-old Sue Baker.

Her neighbors said Baker had a daily routine and was all about family.

“She went over to her daughter’s house every morning and cleaned her house. That's just the way she was,” said Bobbie Pumford, neighbor.

So, when she didn't show up Wednesday morning and couldn't be reached on the phone, neighbors said a family member came over to check on her.

“Her son-in-law went in after he couldn't get a hold of her, and he went in and there was so much smoke he couldn't find her,” Pumford said.

Police said a call for help came in around 9:45 a.m.

The caller told dispatchers the house was full of smoke.

A few minutes later, another call came in.

This caller reported the house on fire.

Baker was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

State fire agents were called to figure out what started the fire, while the gas company was on hand to prevent any future danger.

Late this afternoon, officials released the cause of the fire as careless smoking.

It's something neighbors said the family suspected.

“He said that she probably fell asleep with a cigarette. She did smoke,” Pumford said.

Baker also had two dogs.

Police haven't told us if they made it out of the house or not.

As for Baker, those who knew her said they will remember her kind spirit.

"She was just a very nice lady. She was one of a kind. We will miss her,” Pumford said.