Fire engulfs Norway apartments

Coquille fire officials look over the scene of a Tuesday morning fire in an apartment complex on old Highway 42 in Norway, between Coquille and Myrtle Point. Coquille has mutual aid help with personnel and water tenders from Myrtle Point.

MYRTLE POINT — The person who died in an apartment blaze Tuesday morning has been identified as 51-year-old James Matthew St. John of Myrtle Point, according to Coos County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Pat Downing.

Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said the cause of death was still under investigation.

"It's way too early to determine why the person died at this point," he said.

The blaze started shortly before 8 a.m. at Norway Rentals, located at 54343 Old Highway 42, between Coquille and Myrtle Point.

"Technically we don't get involved in these things unless it's (of) a suspicious nature. At least I don't," Frasier said, adding that his medical examiner, Kris Karcher, is sent to any fire or death.

"Obviously we want to know why it started," the district attorney said.

"There's nothing that's been given to me at this point that would indicate that it's a suspicious fire," Frasier added.

Personnel from the Coquille and Myrtle Point fire departments, plus the Coos County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office and State Fire Marshal's Office, rushed to the scene.

Vehicles included one engine, two water tankers, one rescue vehicle and one command vehicle from the Coquille Fire Department. One fire engine, two water tenders, one ambulance and two fire trucks from the Myrtle Point Fire Department also responded, as well as two sheriff's deputies.

Additionally, Pacific Power and Light was called to make sure any power lines did not have any electricity at all in an effort to keep firefighters safe.

Waddington estimated that between the building and contents the loss came to about $150,000.

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