By Ed Runyan
Police and fire officials believe the fire late Saturday in the Four Seasons mobile-home park that killed Richard L. Baglier, 65, was the result of smoking in bed, and the state fire marshal’s office has ruled it accidental.
Baglier, who ran jewelry stores in Warren and Hubbard, was found dead inside his trailer at 15 Lakewood Drive NE at 11:48 p.m., about 20 minutes after a 911 call from a neighbor alerted authorities to the fire. The park is across state Route 193 from the Youngstown- Warren Regional Airport.
The neighbor, two firefighters and a Vienna police officer were at the home within a few minutes of the 911 call, but the heat and fire made rescue impossible, said Vienna Fire Chief Richard Brannon.
The two firefighters — Assistant Chief Mike Hagood and Capt. Dennis Greenwood — responded in their personal vehicles while traveling home from Sharon Speedway and used a metal pole found at the scene to break down the trailer door.
Firetrucks from the Vienna Fire Department and the 910th Airlift Wing of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station arrived just after that and extinguished the fire, Brannon said.
Baglier’s body was found just inside an exit door not far from his bedroom, where investigators believe the fire started.
Brannon said the death is upsetting, knowing that Baglier had nearly made it out of the trailer.
“They tried to break windows, and there was smoke coming out of the door,” Brannon said. The fire was extinguished pretty quickly, but Brannon thinks it had been burning quite a while before firefighters arrived. The home most likely is a total loss.
There were no smoke detectors in the trailer.
Personnel with the state fire marshal’s office investigated Saturday night and again Monday. An investigator told police the fire appeared to start in the bedroom and may have resulted from smoking a pipe in bed.
Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, Trumbull County coroner, said a ruling on the cause and manner of death are pending the completion of the fire marshal’s investigation. But based on the amount of carbon monoxide in Baglier’s lung’s, Dr. Germaniuk said he appears to have died from smoke inhalation. Dr. Germaniuk found no evidence on the body of trauma or foul play, such as a stab wound or gunshot, he said.
Vienna police officer Michael Sheely was the first person to arrive at the trailer, seeing smoke coming from the windows but no flames. Sheely tried to open both doors to the trailer, but they were locked.
Baglier was affiliated with Uptown Gems and Jewels on East Market Street in Warren and Baglier’s Uptown Jewelers in the Truck World Mall in Hubbard, Vienna police said. Calls to the two businesses Monday were not answered.
Andy Pecchio, Vienna police chief, said he got to know Baglier as a result of a burglary at Baglier’s home July 27, 2012, that was solved with the arrest and conviction of Justin Shilling of Youngstown and Bryan Dragos of Vienna.
Shilling went to prison for 21/2 years last November. Dragos served 90 days in the Trumbull County Jail, ending in January.
“He was real nice,” Pecchio said of Baglier.
Vienna police said Shilling admitted robbing Baglier’s home of silver coins, a bottle of change, an East High School class ring and a lawn mower.
Shilling said he pawned the ring at Baglier’s pawn shop in the Truck World Mall not knowing that the owner of the ring also owned the pawn shop.
Pecchio said police at this point don’t believe the burglary and Baglier’s death are related. Police found no indication that there was any forced entry to the home, Pecchio said.
Vienna police said Melanie Kasiewicz, who lives five trailers down from Baglier, made the 911 call. She awoke to a noise sounding like acorns hitting the top of her house. She looked outside, saw smoke coming from Baglier’s trailer and called 911.
A neighbor who lived two doors down and declined to give his name said he didn’t know Baglier well but knew he ran a business and was busy much of the time.