Centertown man dies in morning fire

A residential structure fire Wednesday in the 10000 block of E. Railroad Road in Centertown destroyed the home and its contents. Here, firefighters use a pike pole to pull the wiring off the house, which caused the upper floor exterior wall to separate from the structure.

A residential structure fire Wednesday in the 10000 block of E. Railroad Road in Centertown destroyed the home and its contents. Here, firefighters use a pike pole to pull the wiring off the house, which caused the upper floor exterior wall to separate from the structure. Photo by Julie Smith.

Authorities are still investigating what caused a fire that killed a Centertown man Wednesday morning.

Cole County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Capt. John Wheeler identified the victim as Steven Mims, 40.

According to reports from the sheriff’s department, the home was located in the 10000 block of East Railroad Street, and the fire was reported just after 10:45 a.m.

An eyewitness called 911 to notify authorities.

When crews from the Regional West Fire Protection District arrived on the scene, flames were visible throughout the home. The fire burned through the roof and went out through the basement.

The home is considered a total loss, and Wheeler said the amount of damage makes it harder to determine the cause.

Cole County County Medical Examiner Carl Doerhoff did not request an autopsy, and Wheeler emphasized there was nothing suspicious about the blaze.

The state fire marshal’s office is assisting with the investigation.

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