The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

April 26, 2013

Man found dead at fire

Blaze confined to seventh floor of Wolford

DANVILLE — Investigations at the scene of a Danville apartment fire where a resident was found dead have been completed.

Police and fire personnel responded around 6:15 a.m. Friday to an alarm for smoke at the Wolford Apartments, 9 E. Harrison St.

Police first on the scene found smoke in the building and evacuated residents above and below the seventh floor of the structure to the north side and lowest level of the apartment complex.

Danville Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason said the fire was confined to the seventh floor. In the apartment where it started, he said firefighters pulled a man out.

Thomason said Friday afternoon a chair in the apartment was found to be where the fire started.

Although only speculation, Thomason has said based on the fire being confined to the apartment and what was observed by firefighters, it is believed smoke was a contributing factor in the man’s death.

He noted the fatality is being considered a fire investigation at this point and not a suspicious death.

Thomason said investigators are awaiting pathology reports for the man’s cause of death.

No specific cause of death for the resident has been released, although Karla Wilson, chief deputy coroner for the county, said an autopsy was conducted Friday afternoon.

The coroner’s office had not released the name of the deceased as of Friday afternoon, with Wilson indicating the office was still trying to contact family members to relay news of the death.

Thomason said the fire was quickly brought under control by firefighters. No other injuries were reported at the fire and evacuated residents were allowed to return to their apartments almost two hours after the fire alarms were reported.

Damages from fire, smoke and water were estimated at around $50,000, according to Thomason.

The fire is the second in two days for Danville after a blaze destroyed a small single-story home along Jackson Street Thursday morning.

Danville Fire Capt. Dave Milholland said crews responded to a report of a fire just after 9 a.m. Thursday at 911 N. Jackson St.

Firefighters arriving on scene found flames coming out of windows on two sides of the structure. The firefighters were able to bring the flames under control quickly and were on the scene about two hours.

The cause of the fire was found to be a pan of cooking oil left on a hot stove at the home.

No injuries were reported in the fire.

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