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Autopsy shows man's death not fire-related

January 24, 2000

An autopsy on a 68-year-old Hagerstown man found dead Friday morning in his apartment revealed he died of natural causes, not from burns.

Hagerstown Fire Marshal Tom Brown said Monday that Dr. Jacqueline Parai of the Maryland State Medical Examiner's office in Baltimore performed the autopsy over the weekend on James Elmer Kline, who lived alone at 428 W. Antietam St., Apt. C.

Parai ruled that Kline's death was heart-related, Brown said.

Kline's daughter, Darlene Violet, said her father was a respected businessman, who operated Kline's Cabinet Shop in Boonsboro for a number of years.

"Due to his health, he retired to Florida. He moved back to Hagerstown in 1993 to enjoy his family," Violet said Monday.

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She said her father was a private person who was always very careful in his woodworking.

Violet said her father had been sitting in a chair and it appeared he had been smoking or lighting his pipe when he was stricken. The fire started in some sawdust on the floor, she said.

He was on the floor when he was discovered by family members just before noon Friday.

- Marlo Barnhart

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