Coroner confirms identity of man who died in Milford body shop fire

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

MILFORD, Ind. The Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the identity of the second person who died in a February 13th fatal fire in Milford, Indiana.

It happened at Medina's Body Repair in the 300 block of Higbee Street. That’s near the intersection with Syracuse Street.

Investigators say the fire was accidental, and traced the source of the fire to faulty wiring for a ceiling light.

Analu Nunez died from smoke inhalation, according to Kosciusko County Coroner Michael Wilson.

Nunez's fiancé, Jose Medina, has now been confirmed as being the other person who died in the fire. Medical examiners determined that he died from smoke inhalation.

DNA testing performed by the Indiana State Police lab, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has found that it is a 99.9% conclusive match to that of Jose Medina.

The call originally came in around 7:22 a.m. Thursday when someone leaving work down the street saw smoke and flames and called 9-1-1.

When crews arrived at the scene, they saw heavy smoke coming from the front of the body shop. After surveying the scene, crews saw the roof was sagging and the front wall was pushing out, so they fought the fire from the outside.

"During the initial reports, it was reported there was an apartment building that sits on the top side of this building," said Kosciusko County Coroner Michael Wilson. "There was a possibility of an occupied apartment. The fire had advanced to the point it wasn't safe for firefighters to get a total interior attack for search and rescue."
At least four fire departments responded to the blaze.

Gas and other chemicals did pose a problem. Firefighters say they heard several mini explosions.

"By nature, the business has a lot of chemicals in it," said Milford Town Marshall Richard Miotto. "Lacquer, thinners, and paints -- a lot of things that are flammable."

Because of the cold temperatures, a large amount of water froze on the ground. Firefighters used salt and sand to help make the area safer.

When it was safe enough for firefighters to enter the building, they found two people dead.

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