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Published: Monday, 10/18/2004

Toledo man, 20, dies in house fire

A 20-year-old Toledo man died in a house fire early yesterday that fire officials believe was started by unattended cooking.

Deshawn Snow of 5533 Lewis Ave., Apt. 10, was pronounced dead in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center at 7:16 a.m., a hospital spokesman said.

Toledo firefighters responded to the blaze about 6:30 a.m. Mr. Snow, who lived in a third-floor apartment, was believed to be in the apartment alone when a hot pot on the stove started a fire that extended to the cabinet area. Neighbors said Mr. Snow moved into the apartment just days earlier.

Toledo Fire Battalion Chief Christine Davis said the fire started in the kitchen area, and the blaze heavily damaged that area with thick smoke throughout the apartment. She said Mr. Davis was found on the floor in the dining room area.

She said the fire was contained to the kitchen area, and she estimated damage at about $5,000.

Neighbor Catrina Mueller said Mr. Snow was soft-spoken and kind. Ms. Mueller said she paid Mr. Snow $10 to take out her trash on a regular basis.

"I'm very sad about this," said Ms. Mueller, who lived on the second floor in Mr. Snow's complex. "I don't know where he was working, but I know he put in a lot of hours. He was a very nice person who liked helping people."

Ms. Mueller said she heard her fire alarm go off shortly after 6:30 a.m. and began to investigate. She said neighbors knocked on her door to tell her about the fire upstairs.

"I opened the door and there was this rush of hot smoke," Ms. Mueller said. "I remember it was thick, and I could just barely breathe."

Chief Davis said the fire remained under investigation yesterday.

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