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Investigators - City man died prior to fire

May 06, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown fire investigator said a man whose body was found in his West End home in April died before fire engulfed his bedroom.

The investigator said the 40-year-old man died before dropping "smoking material" that started the fire.

Hagerstown Assistant Fire Marshal Doug DeHaven said the April 8 fire at 460 McDowell Ave. was determined to be accidental.

DeHaven said Shane L. Meldron, who was found dead by firefighters, died of an undisclosed medical problem before flames engulfed his clothing and bedding in a second-floor bedroom.

He said the death was not caused by the fire. The fire was caused by a pipe dropped by Meldron, DeHaven said.

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Meldron, who was a Washington County native, worked as a hairdresser and was a member of the Salvation Army, according to his obituary.

Dr. Zabiullah Ali, the state's assistant medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Meldron in Baltimore, said a determination of Meldron's official cause of death was pending. He said a further microscopic examination needed to be completed.

Ali said microscopic examinations are performed on organs generally to determine if the deceased was suffering from some type of disease.

Ali declined further comment on the autopsy.

Firefighters responded to the McDowell Avenue home on April 8 about 1:50 p.m. after receiving reports of a fire at the home with someone trapped inside.

Minutes later, Meldron's body was pulled from the home onto a small roof just below an upstairs window.

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