October 21, 2014

Elyria
Rain
46°F
test

Man’s body found in Elyria apartment fire

A man's body was found after a fire at 341 E. River St., Apt. 3, Elyria. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

A man’s body was found after a fire at 341 E. River St., Apt. 3, Elyria. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA – Officials are investigating after a man’s body was found in a burning apartment Monday night.

Elyria Fire Department responded at 11:10 p.m. to a report of a structure fire at 341 E. River St., according to assistant fire chief Bob Dempsey.

Dempsey said when fire crews arrived at the scene, there was heavy fire and smoke showing from the front and back windows of apartment #3, on the second floor.

The building is a quadplex, with two apartments upstairs and two downstairs. Three of the units were occupied, and one was vacant, according to Elyria Police Capt. Chris Costantino.

Dempsey said firefighters were able to contain the fire to apartment #3.

“A very aggressive attack on the fire contained it to the one apartment,” he said.

This screengrab from raw video shows the fire that gutted an East River Street apartment Monday night. COURTESY VERNON FRYE

CLICK FOR VIDEO. This screengrab from raw video shows the fire that gutted an East River Street apartment Monday night. COURTESY VERNON FRYE

Dempsey said the fire was brought under control in about 20 minutes.

“It was a heck of an operation,” he said.

The adjoining units were damaged by smoke and water, and were deemed uninhabitable, Costantino said.

During a search of the apartment, firefighters found the body of a 62-year-old male resident, Costantino said.

Firefighters determined the death appeared suspicious, and notified Elyria police and the Lorain County Coroner’s Office, Costantino said. An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of death.

No other residents or firefighters were injured, officials said.

The Elyria Fire Prevention Bureau, Elyria police and the coroner’s office are investigating.

See Wednesday’s Chronicle-Telegram for more on this story.