Man found dead in fire-damaged duplex

Fruit Valley blaze likely accidental; investigation continues

By Emily Gillespie and Stephanie Rice

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A man was found dead in his fire-damaged duplex Monday morning in Vancouver’s Fruit Valley neighborhood.

Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said police and fire investigators are still determining exactly when the kitchen fire occurred, but that it did not appear suspicious.

The man’s identity was not released, pending notification of his family, Scarpelli said. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine how the man died.

During a presentation about fire safety, Vancouver Fire Chief Joe Molina told the Vancouver City Council on Monday that the fire in the duplex was caused by cooking. Molina said it was the fourth fire death in the city this year.

Scarpelli said 73 percent of the agency’s fire calls are residential. The top three causes of preventable fires are cooking, smoking and candles.

Vancouver Police Department officers responded to the duplex Monday and are conducting a death investigation. A spokesman for the agency did not return phone calls Monday.