Man Found Dead in House Fire Identified as Former Rochester Fire Captain

Created: 04/18/2014 6:32 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office says the body of a former captain with the Rochester Fire Department was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a home near Dover Wednesday.

57-year-old Donald Helgerson served with the department from 1982 to 1997. He retired as a captain after 15 years. He was married with two grown children.

Firefighters responded to a home northeast of Dover Wednesday morning. They found an empty gun case near the house. Not knowing what to expect, a special emergency response unit was called in to secure the area. Helgerson's body was found five hours later inside the charred house. The sheriff says a shotgun was next to Helgerson.

It is still unclear how the fire started. Investigators are analyzing evidence that was taken from the scene. We're told a final determination could take a while.