The man who died in a fire inside his Chapman Lake home last week has been positively identified.
The Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office confirms that Stephen T. Hall, 65, perished in the blaze likely started by a space heater. (See full story)
Dr. Nelson, of the Northeast Forensic Center at St. Joe Hospital in Fort Wayne, used X-ray and dental comparisons to make a positive ID. Dr. Nelson also concluded that Hall died from smoke inhalation and thermal burns.
The Fire Investigation Team of Kosciusko County (also referred to as Squad 70) released a preliminary determination last week that the fire origin appeared to have started in the basement of the structure. Various interviews led investigators to believe that Hall had obtained a portable heater and had implemented it in the basement area on the previous evening to thaw-out frozen waterlines. Evidence located by fire investigators indicated that the source of the fire appeared to have started in close proximity to the portable heater.
Agencies assisting the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office with the investigation include the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Leesburg/Plain Township Fire Department, Warsaw/Wayne Township Fire Territory, North Webster, Winona Lake, and Pierceton Fire Departments, and the Fire Investigation Team of Kosciusko County.