Warrenton man killed in apartment fire

2013-03-18T17:21:00Z 2013-05-23T20:48:46Z Warrenton man killed in apartment fireBY JOEL CURRIER jcurrier@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8256 stltoday.com

WARRENTON   •   Authorities today identified a man killed in an apartment fire early Sunday morning as Roger D. Medsker, 55.

Chief Mike Owenby of the Warrenton Fire Protection District said a fire just after 5 a.m. Sunday heavily damaged four units of the Warrenton Apartments at 205 North West Street.

Firefighters found Medsker unconscious on the floor just inside the front door of his apartment, Owenby said. Fire officials believe he was alone in the apartment.

Owenby said the fire appeared to have started in Medsker's kitchen and spread to three adjacent apartments. Investigators did not know the cause of the blaze Monday but believe it was an accident. Owenby said it appeared Medsker's oven had been left on. The state fire marshal is investigating.

Medsker's apartment was equipped with a smoke detector but it was unclear if it was working properly, Owenby said. A next-door neighbor called 911 after her smoke detector sounded. Owenby said the fire began burning through her wall and knocked a medicine chest off a wall of her bathroom.

Paramedics were unable to revive Medsker after firefighters pulled him from his apartment, Owenby said.

The fire burned through the roof of Medsker's apartment and spread to two adjacent units, Owenby said. Two people in neighboring apartments were forced out of their units but no one else was hurt, Owenby said. The Red Cross was helping those people find temporary shelter.

Owenby said investigators believe Medsker died of smoke inhalation but authorities were awaiting autopsy results Monday.

Joel Currier is a breaking news reporter for STLtoday.com and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter here: @joelcurrier.

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