Janesville66.1°

Rock Township man died before fire broke out

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
May 3, 2011
— The man whose body was found after a fire in a mobile home park on Sunday had died before the fire started, authorities said Monday.

The man was identified as James Schrader, 69.


Schrader had health problems, and the Monday autopsy indicates he died as a result of those problems, not from the fire, Rock County Coroner Jenifer Keach said.


Investigators, meanwhile, said the cause of the fire appears accidental.


Schrader was found in the kitchen area of the home at Lot 155 of the Rockvale Mobile Home Park at 6219 S. Highway 51, said Capt. Todd Christiansen of the sheriff’s office.


Christiansen said investigators believe that boiling oil on a stove caused the fire. He said the cooking oil in a deep fryer either was spilled by Schrader as he collapsed, or the oil boiled over after Schrader died.


The oil came into contact with the flames and/or pilot light on the gas stove, creating the fire, according to a sheriff’s office news release.


Schrader was identified using dental comparison during the Monday’s autopsy, according to a coroner’s news release.


The fire was reported 3:48 p.m. Sunday. Fire units from the towns of Beloit and Turtle responded. Members of those departments assisted in the investigation Monday, along with sheriff’s detectives.


Christiansen said the mobile home and a newer Dodge pickup truck in the home’s carport were destroyed. No dollar amount for the damage was immediately known.



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