One dead in Grand Forks house fire
A former Grand Forks Herald reporter apparently died in an early morning fire Wednesday in her home at 1104 Boyd Drive, one of her sons said. Authorities have not made an official identification of the woman, whose body was recovered from a bedro...
A former Grand Forks Herald reporter apparently died in an early morning fire Wednesday in her home at 1104 Boyd Drive, one of her sons said.
Authorities have not made an official identification of the woman, whose body was recovered from a bedroom in the home, but the victim appeared to be Sue Ellyn Scaletta, 64.
"We believe it's her," son Kelly Scaletta said from his home in Chicago. "We don't know of anyone else who would be staying at the house."
Grand Forks firefighters responded to a call shortly after 4 a.m. and, told by a neighbor that someone might be in the home, quickly gained access and got the fire under control.
The victim was found in bed, the department said in a news release.
No smoke detectors were sounding when firefighters arrived, according to the release.
The fire department and North Dakota Fire Marshal's office were continuing their investigation.
Grand Forks Police and Altru Ambulance also assisted the 17 firefighters who responded, according to the release.
"Sue Ellyn's passing is sad news for the Herald," said Mike Jacobs, the paper's editor and publisher.
"She worked for us in two stretches totaling about 16 years," he said. "She covered a variety of issues, and she worked as the night news editor for a time. She was part of the crew that covered the 1997 Flood -- coverage that earned the Herald the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She also won a number of awards from the North Dakota Newspaper Association for writing and reporting.
"She had an out-sized personality and she was often the center of newsroom events. Many of us remember her gumbo dinners -- a favorite occasion for her, since she was a native Louisianan."
Scaletta left the Herald in 1998 but continued to live in Grand Forks.
"The thing she was most proud of in life was her time at the Herald and being part of that group that won the Pulitzer," Kelly Scaletta said.
She is also survived by sons Kenneth and Kurtis, both of the Twin Cities area, and four grandchildren.
A memorial service may be scheduled in Grand Forks, Kelly Scaletta said, but arrangements are incomplete.
Wednesday's fire fatality was the city's second this year.
Teresa Numedahl, 55, died in a fire caused when a cigarette ignited her mattress early Feb. 25 at 443 Campbell Drive in Grand Forks, according to a fire department investigation.
Though they had not finished investigating the source of Wednesday's fatality, fire officials repeated their plea that residents have functioning smoke detectors, check batteries twice a year and replace detectors every 10 years.
Reach Haga at (701) 780-1102; (800) 477-6572, ext. 102; or send email to email@example.com .