FENTON, MO (KTVI) -Concerns that a deadly fire in Fenton early Tuesday morning might have involved ‘foul play’ were unfounded, authorities said.
Investigators with both the Jefferson County Sheriff`s Department and the state fire marshal`s office are looking into the fire.
They were not 100% certain about the cause of death or cause of the fire, Tuesday night, but said initial signs pointed to it being an accident.
The sheriff`s department identified the victim as Charles Odell, 24.
More than 50 of his friends and family members wiped tears and lit candles for him in front the house on Ridge Road.
Being there was the farthest thing from their minds just one night earlier; especially so for his grandmother, Gerriei Bacinski.
‘I don`t like all the news coverage but I was grateful for it, because that`s how we found out about it,’ Bacinski said, crying.
The fire started in a bedroom of a house owned by Odell`s parents about 4:00 in the morning.
Odell was living there alone.
Part of the roof collapsed. It was about 2 hours before firefighters found his body.
‘There was no trauma, no visible trauma to the body. The actual cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner. At this point, it seems to be an unfortunate tragic incident,’ said Capt. Ron Arnhart of the Jefferson County Sheriff`s Department. ‘There`s some questions we still have left that are unanswered that we`re going to have to wait as the investigation moves forward. We`re also going to have to wait for the cause of death to be determined by the medical examiner`s office.’
Loved ones remembered Odell as someone who lifted up his friends and loved kids; none more than his James, 2.
Odell was an `07 Northwest High School Grad who worked at a nearby St. Louis Pizza and Wings.
He just turned 24 last month.
‘I love him. He`ll be missed, missed terribly,’ his grandmother cried.
‘Over the last couple of years we started playing music and got real close. He became my best friend,’ said Josh Venable.
He graduated from high school with Odell and was his manager at ‘Pizza and Wings’. He said Odell had just been promoted.
’24 years of age. That`s really young for an adult. But you know what they say, only the good die young,’ said a boy, speaking to the crowd at the vigil.
‘He had electricity but that was about it. He had a space heater in there. I think that`s probably what caused all of it,’ Venable said.
Gas had been shut off to the house.
Investigators were looking at two heaters as possible sources of the fire; one was electric, the other was apparently kerosene.