April 19, 2014

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Coroner says foul play not suspected in fatal Lorain fire

Icicles hang Tuesday from the East Erie Avenue home that caught fire on Monday. The body of Vicky Kwasny was found inside the house. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Icicles hang Tuesday from the East Erie Avenue home that caught fire on Monday. The body of Vicky Kwasny was found inside the house. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

LORAIN — Out of a crowd of almost 40 neighbors who gathered around a flaming house at 1012 E. Erie Ave. on Monday, neighbor Tim Hiser said one man stuck out.

 A Lorain fire official exits the home on East Erie Tuesday morning.

A Lorain fire official exits the home on East Erie Tuesday morning.

“He was hysterical,” Hiser said of neighbor Mark Kwasny, who rushed to his house after it caught fire about 9 p.m. on Monday. “It was a very sad situation.”

Vicki Kwasny, Mark Kwasny’s wife, died in the fire along with four dogs.

Firefighters, working in 25-degree temperatures, extinguished the fire around 11:45 p.m. After searching the house, they found Kwasny’s body on the second floor. Neighbors were shocked by the death of the 51-year-old Kwasny.

“I just talked to her the other day,” neighbor Candi Cobb said, adding that she and Vicki Kwasny had talked about Kwasny’s cancer diagnosis, which Cobb said upset Kwasny.

Despite her illness, neighbors said Vicki could often be seen outside gardening or spending time with her dogs, including a large Great Dane that was well known in the neighborhood.

“They were always outside,” Hiser said of the Kwasnys.

Mark Kwasny wouldn’t comment Monday and couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

Officials estimated

Officials estimated the fire caused about $66,000 in damage to the home and $50,000 in personal belongings.

Assistant Fire Chief Chief Dennis Livchak said firefighters boarded up the house at the intersection of Idaho Avenue. He estimated $66,000 in damage to the home and $50,000 to personal belongings.

The cause of Kwasny’s death is expected to be released today. Lorain County Coroner Stephen Evans said foul play isn’t suspected.

Livchak said the fire began in a second-floor bedroom where Kwasny was found. Firefighters arrived about two minutes after the call, but the intensity of the blaze hampered rescue attempts. Livchak said high wind and the balloon-frame construction of the house, built in 1900, made the fire burn longer.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Livchak said.

Reporter Evan Goodenow contributed to this story.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com.

  • Jenn Smith

    Sounds like something you see on tv. Why would he be watchin their house burn and not panicing, yellin about his wife. Then the fire started where she was at! Very suspicious

    • Mary Kathleen Donovan Springow

      That poor man was at work when he got the call! He is absolutely a decent, good man and is devastated by this! This was a tragic incident…..maybe you’re trying throw suspicion off of you!

  • http://lorain365.wordpress.com/ Lorain 365

    Please reserve your judgment until you actually read the article:

    “He was hysterical,” Hiser said of neighbor Mark Kwasny, who rushed to his
    house after it caught fire about 9 p.m. on Monday. “It was a very sad
    situation.”

    The woman was bedridden. She didn’t have a chance. You shouldn’t talk about things you don’t know about. Show some respect.

  • Me

    how sad… :(

  • Shawn Reising

    I used to rent the upstairs apartment and worked with Mark ,he is a standup guy and Vicky was a very nice woman .My prayers go out to this family :(