Cause of death determined in YMCA shed fire

LINCOLN, RI (WPRI) —  Burns from an April fire that destroyed a MacColl YMCA storage shed caused the death of a Lincoln man who worked for the organization, the state medical examiner has determined.

Kyle Andrews, 48, died at Rhode Island Hospital April 20, a few days after an early morning blaze destroyed the two-care garage sized shed that stored lawnmowers and gardening equipment.

Department of Health spokesperson Joseph Wendelken said the medical examiner ruled last month that “thermal burns” due to a garage fire was the cause of death.

The fire started at about 3:40 a.m. on April 17 at the one-story structure on Breakneck Hill Road.

The cause of the fire is stated as “undetermined” according to Deputy State Fire Marshal John Dean who said the fire appeared to start near the entrance of the building and could’ve had something to do with the equipment that was stored inside.

“We can’t say it’s accidental and can’t say it’s not accidental,” Dean said, adding that the cause did not appear to be electrical. “So, the cause is undetermined.”

In the days after the fire, Lincoln police detectives interviewed YMCA employees, including Andrews who was contacted at his home.

After Andrews was found with burns, an ambulance was called to bring him to the hospital.

Lincoln Police Chief Brian Sullivan and Dean said investigators never had a chance to interview Andrews, who died the next day.

Dean said an interview with Andrews might’ve helped determine the exact cause of the fire that killed him, but he was the only one at the scene when the fire started. Dean said investigators could not track down any other witnesses.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau.