Jeromesville man found dead after fire in March died of stroke

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JEROMESVILLE Jeromesville man found dead in his apartment after a fire in march, died of a stroke before the fire broke out, according to an autopsy report released on Wednesday.

Timothy Botdorf, 69, had died before the fire started, said Beth Jackenheimer, an investigator with the Ashland County Coroner’s Office.

He was lying face down when investigators searched the building after the fire, according to the incident report.

Jackenheimer said evidence samples determined there was no carbon monoxide or soot in Botdor’s throat, lungs or bronchial tubes, and there was no evidence that he had been hit by an object.

Learn more about the Jeromesville fire:Name of Jeromesville fire victim unveiled

What caused the Jeromesville fire may never be known

State Fire Marshal investigator Donald Illig said the cause of the fire was “undetermined”.

Illig’s report stated that the fire had started in the living room where there were many electrical components, which cannot be ruled out as the cause of the fire.

A computer, a lamp, the remains of a power strip and possible remains of a television set were in the living room, as well as tools, the remains of a decoder and electrical cords.

“Based on my experience, training and education, witness statements and general examination of the scene, this fire is classified as UNDETERMINED,” Illgis wrote in the report.

Fire damages nearby structures

The Jeromesville Fire Department received a call at 5:21 a.m. on March 28 indicating that the building was on fire. Firefighters reported a massive fire originating from the second floor of 10 W. Main St., the building immediately west of the J-Ville Pub & Grill.

The fire spread, causing damage to J-Ville Pub & Grill and Remaley’s Auctioneer House.

“The repairs should be done by the end of the month,” Remaley owner Shad Remaley said this week. “I am surprised at how much damage has been done.”

Investigators were unable to determine exactly what caused the March fire at Timothy Botdorf's apartment in Jeromesville.  Botdorf was dead before the fire broke out, according to a coroner's report, and the structure was razed to the ground.

Repairs, including floors and walls, to the auction house are estimated at $ 150,000, and insurance has helped cover some of the costs, he said.

Illig, during his investigation, spoke to people who knew Botdorf.

Curtis Hawks, a friend, told investigators he had visited Botdorf’s apartment on several occasions and saw cigarette burns on the sofa and other furniture. He said Botdorf was known to be a smoker, according to the report, which also notes that Hawks said he regularly warns Botdorf about his smoking habits.

The aftermath of the Jeromesville fire:Investigation continues Monday into fatal Sunday blaze in Jeromesville

Family members said Timothy Botdorf lived alone

The building next to the J-Ville Pub & Grill, where Timothy Botdorf's body was found after a fire in March, has been demolished.  Investigators decided Botdorf had had a stroke and died before the fire started.  The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Botdorf’s apartment was owned by his mother, Joan Botdorf, who bought the building in 2014. No electrical or mechanical issues were reported, Joan Botdorf told investigators in the report.

According to the report, family members told investigators Botdorf lived alone with a pit bull dog.

The building’s first floor was used as a storage area and repair shop for random projects that included motorcycle parts, sandblasting and powder coating, according to incident reports.

Thursday’s attempts to reach Botdorf’s family were unsuccessful.


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