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Male fire victim identified

Fri., Dec. 24, 2010

Officials have identified the man who died in the downtown apartment fire where firefighters had to evacuate several residents Wednesday night.

Louis J. Schopp, 59, died from smoke inhalation, according to the Spokane County medical examiner’s office. His is the fourth fire-related death in Spokane County in less than a week.

Crews are still investigating the cause of the fire, which started in Schopp’s third-floor unit, said Spokane Fire Chief Bobby Williams.

About 50 fire personnel responded to the blaze at 123 N. Bernard St. about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

All residents living in the 33-unit Sherwood Apartments were temporarily displaced. As soon the second and fourth floors can be secured, residents of those floors can return home, Williams said.

Residents from the third floor were allowed to return to their apartments to collect necessities, but will not be allowed to move back in at this time due to extensive smoke and heat damage, he said. They will be able to stay at an American Red Cross shelter at North Central High School until other living arrangements can be made.

About an hour before the fire started, Schopp pushed his MedicAlert button. Medics went to his home and determined he was OK when they left, Williams said.

Early Sunday, Jill D. Burdett, 56, and UnaBelle Turner, 91, died in a fire at Turner’s home on Upriver Lane. Major Allen, 64, died late Saturday after a fast-spreading cooking fire trapped him in his motor home at Monroe Street and West Gardner Avenue.

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