Cause of fire officially declared undetermined

Monday, January 26, 2009 | 6:28 p.m. CST; updated 9:16 p.m. CST, Monday, January 26, 2009

COLUMBIA — After investigating a fire that resulted in the death of a still unidentified man Jan. 20, the Columbia Fire Department has declared the cause undetermined, with a possibility of an electrical malfunction, Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said. The cause of the fire was previously unknown.

The fire destroyed a shed on the property of Carolyn Matthews, who was not injured. The Missourian previously reported that the cause of the victim's death was the result of fire, according to Deputy Medical Examiner Eddie Adelstein.

The identity of the victim has not yet been disclosed, although Columbia Fire Department Captain Eric Hartman previously told the Missourian there is a solid lead in the case. DNA test results are pending.

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