Man found in fire-damaged duplex identified

Frank Jennings, 58, died of smoke inhalation, according to medical examiner

By Emily Gillespie and Patty Hastings

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The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man found dead Monday morning in his fire-damaged duplex in Vancouver’s Fruit Valley neighborhood.

Frank Jennings, 58, died of smoke inhalation, the office said Tuesday. His death was ruled an accident.

His roommate, Terry Tobin, 40, said he arrived home Monday at about 10:15 a.m. after having left for the holiday weekend on Thursday to find the confusing scene at his residence, 2019 Simpson Ave.

“There was black everywhere inside,” Tobin said. “The burner was left on so I turned it off. I didn’t want any more fire to start.”

The duplex is a transitional housing unit owned by Friends of the Carpenter, which runs a faith-based day shelter on the same block.

Vancouver Fire Chief Joe Molina said Monday that the duplex fire was caused by cooking, and that it was the fourth fire death in the city this year.