Cause Of Fatal Walnut Creek Fire Is Officially "Undetermined"

The cause of death of resident Charles MacDonald is also undetermined as officials await toxicology reports

A moving van sits in front of the home on Hilltop Crescent where a fatal fire erupted two weeks ago
A moving van sits in front of the home on Hilltop Crescent where a fatal fire erupted two weeks ago
It's official. Fire investigators do not know what started a house fire two weeks ago that killed a Walnut Creek man.

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Capt. Robert Marshall said Friday the investigation has been completed and the official cause is listed as "undetermined."

Marshall said there was too much damage to the second floor of the home on Hilltop Crescent for investigators to pinpoint exactly where the blaze began and what started it.

Marshall said investigators have ruled out arson. He said electrical wires are a possible cause. So are cigarettes since the victim was a smoker.

Charles MacDonald, 62, died in the fire. His body was found on the second floor.

Coroner's officials have said they won't know the cause of death until they get back toxicology reports. Those results are still several weeks away.

Marshall MacDonald's wife, Annie, wasn't at home during the fire. She arrived after flames had consumed the second floor, Marshall said.

Another woman lived in a separate, downstairs portion of the home. She was there when the fire began and escaped once she realized the second floor was ablaze, said Marshall.

The home is now structurally unstable. A moving van was out front of the house on Friday. A woman who was there said she was helping the residents move out.


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