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Harrison Township

December 30, 2013

Harrison Township woman dies from burn injuries

By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff Writer

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The 56-year-old Harrison Township woman who was seriously burned in an accidental fire at her home on Dec. 26 has died, Macomb County Sheriff’s Officials confirm.

Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said Linda Westen died Dec. 28 after she was removed from life support at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

According to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Harrison Township firefighters, EMS and deputies were dispatched to Westen’s home on the 38000 block of Mast Street at 5:21 p.m. Dec. 26 on a report of a fire injury.

At the time, Westen was able to relay to firefighters that she was standing in front of her gas log fireplace smoking a cigarette when her clothes ignited.

Westen immediately fell to the floor and rolled while attempting to extinguish the flames. In the meantime, her son was on the second floor when he heard a smoke alarm activate. Sheriff’s officials report that the man said he ran to the first floor of the home and found his mother on the floor in front of the fireplace, with her clothes on fire.

The man filled a bowl with water and attempted to douse the flames. He then threw an area rug over her to fully extinguish the flames, the sheriff’s department stated.

Westen was transported first to the McLaren Hospital in Mount Clemens, and subsequently transferred to Detroit Receiving Hospital for treatment. 

Initial reports indicated that Westen’s injuries did not appear to be life threatening, however, she was severely burned over 50 percent of her body.

Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the incident was nothing more than an accident.

“From everything we know, it appears to be accidental,” he said. “There will be no (criminal) investigation.”

Westen, formerly from St. Clair Shores, is survived by her husband Daniel; sons Eric (Andrea) Westen, Kirk (Amy) Westen, and Mark Westen; grandson Henrik Westen; aunt Mary Ann VanSlambrouck; uncles Roger Buysse and Fred Rimmer, and many extended family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents George and Lenette VanSlambrouck.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Julie Snyder at jsnyder@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1039.