Posted at: 03/05/2013 9:16 PM
Updated at: 03/05/2013 10:19 PM
By: Steph Crock
Cause of St. Charles Motel Fire Ruled Undetermined
(ABC 6 News) -- Three months after a deadly motel fire in downtown St. Charles, investigators have closed the case, but they still aren't exactly sure what caused it.
A 47 year-old South Dakota man was killed. His body was found on a path leading up to the motel. Witnesses say they heard a loud explosion and the man was blown from his room. Only 4 rooms were rented out at the time, everyone else was okay, except the man in the room where they believed the fire started.
"In this case both the carbon monoxide level and the degree of burns contributed certainly as the primary cause of death," said State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl
What caused the fire, they don’t know. No evidence of electrical or gas leaks from the building, no flammable liquid, or anything that could have ignited the fire, and no evidence of arson. Which is what makes this case unusual and frustrating for investigators.
"They don't like writing undetermined on their reports. They want to be able to, and the normally do, come up with causes but a few cases like this, you end up having to write undetermined even though they are very good at what they do," said Rosendahl
We spoke to the owners of the motel, they didn't want to talk on camera. Though the case is closed, investigators say if they get new information, the case could be reopened.