Probe continues into fatal fire in Midland: chief

The cause of a Midland apartment fire that killed a local man over the weekend is still under investigation.

Fire Chief Paul Ryan said the blaze was not suspicious, but an investigation into the cause is ongoing and will likely take a few weeks to be finalized.

He said he couldn't confirm the cause of death of the 60-year-old man who died in the blaze.

The fire call came in at 5:11 a.m. on Sunday, Ryan said, noting multiple calls were received — one from the monitoring agency and a few from other tenants in the building. 

He said the fire was contained within the one-bedroom apartment, which was 700 to 800 square feet in size. 

"There was extensive heat and smoke damage, so most of the items in the apartment were not salvageable," Ryan said. 

He said the dwelling on William Street is a multi-unit residential building, but he wasn't sure of the total number of apartments it contained. 

However, Ryan added, there was no damage, smoke or heat, to any of the other units in the building. He said the firefighters ventilated the hallway to let out the smell of smoke.

"Those buildings are built in such a way that each unit is basically a compartment on its own," he said, adding other tenants who had evacuated the building were able to return to their apartments within two hours or so after the call had been received.

"There was no other damage to anybody else's units. They're able to continue to live in that building," Ryan added. 

"It's a bad situation that the gentleman died, but everybody else was OK."

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