Medical examiner: Man died of smoke inhalation in Ridgefield fire

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

Published:

Updated: May 3, 2012, 9:37 PM

 

The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday confirmed Dale Shoemaker was the man who died in the fatal fire near Ridgefield late Tuesday.

Shoemaker, 59, died of smoke inhalation, the medical examiner said in a bulletin. The manner of death was accidental. Shoemaker was found in his home after the fire.

About 25 firefighters, nine fire engines and three water tenders from Clark County Fire & Rescue and Clark County Fire District 3 responded to the fire just after 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. It took them about an hour to gain control over the fire.

The fire was caused by improper use of a wood stove, said Fire Marshal Richard Martin.

“If you’re going to use a wood stove, you have to clean it out on a fairly regular basis,” he said.

He said people should avoid keeping combustible materials close to it, operate it in the way it was meant to be, and keep the door closed while using it. He said people should also clean their chimneys on a somewhat regular basis.