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Female victim of Grand Forks house fire was former reporter

GRAND FORKS - 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 the North Dakota fire marshal's office were continuing their investigation.

"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."