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Published: Friday, 12/28/2001

Bluffton death ruled an accident

BLUFFTON - A rural Bluffton man who, along with his girlfriend, was found dead in his home on Christmas Eve died accidentally, the Allen County coroner ruled yesterday.

Kevin Fuerst, 38, was found in a hallway of the home.

An autopsy showed he died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Donna Dirr, 49, who lived with him, also died of carbon monoxide poisoning, but was found lying between two vehicles parked in the home's attached garage.

One of the vehicles, a pickup truck, had been left running. Allen County sheriff's deputies found the keys in the ignition and said the truck had run out of gasoline.

Dr. William Wright, coroner, said Mr. Fuerst's death was accidental, but he has not ruled on Ms. Dirr's death.

“He did not intend this. He was just a victim,” Dr. Wright said.

Ms. Dirr's death remains under investigation, though the coroner said it might be impossible to determine whether it was an accident or suicide.

Sheriff's Lt. Jim Everett said investigators were still conducting interviews yesterday.

A family member concerned about the couple's well-being contacted the sheriff's office about 5:30 p.m. Monday. Investigators said the two might have died as early as Saturday morning.

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