Kremmling fire death was accidental, investigators say
April 9, 2008
The cause of the death of a Texas teenager in a Kremmling house fire last month has been determined by state and local officials.
According to Kremmling Police Chief Scott Spade, 19-year-old David Wayne St. John II died March 6 as the result of an accident. That was the conclusion of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which investigated the cause of the fatal house fire.
Spade said the “indicators” listed in the CBI report showed that St. John had apparently tried to dry clothing by using the house’s kitchen stove. The clothing caught fire and resulted in St. John being overcome by smoke inhalation.
“It was apparent that the deceased individual tried to use the heat of the stove top to dry clothing that had been placed on the stove’s hood,” Spade said. “All four burners of the stove were lit. The clothing had apparently fallen off the hood onto the burners, which caused the fire.”
As a part of the investigation, Grand County Coroner Brenda Bock determined the cause of death as “smoke inhalation and extensive third degree burns.” Dental records had to be used to confirm the identity of the body.
The fire that took St. John’s life occurred in a rental duplex at 109 Central Avenue. The Kremmling Police received the 9-1-1 call at 1:43 p.m. that day. Two residents across the street from the duplex spotted the blaze and telephoned for help.
The Kremmling Fire Department and Kremmling Police responded immediately. The blaze inside the duplex was quickly suppressed.
Within the burned structure, firefighters discovered the “badly burned” body of an adult male. The discovery was made at 2:35 p.m.
St. John, a resident of Deer Park, Texas, was reportedly visiting friends in Kremmling when he died in the house fire. He was buried March 15 in Pasedena, Texas. He was a 2008 graduate of Deer Park High School.