Cause of Thursday's fatal fire unknown

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WALLA WALLA -- Investigators were unable to determine a cause for a fatal fire that killed a woman Thursday.

Yvonne Clauson, 27, was discovered unconscious just inside the front door of her smoke-filled apartment at 204 N. Spokane, No. 17., at around 3 p.m.. She was declared dead at Walla Walla General Hospital.

Fire Chief Bob Yancey said investigators ruled out electrical problems as a cause, but did note there were a numbers of candles and a lighter in Clauson's bedroom, where the fire was believed to have started.

County Coroner Richard Greenwood said a forensic pathologist determined late yesterday that the cause of death was smoke inhalation.

Blood tests are now being ordered to determine if there were any other factors that led to Clauson's death, Greewood said.

Yancey said the investigation has been taken over by police detectives who are now trying to locate a male who was seen leaving Clauson's apartment some time before the fire started.

For further coverage, see Sunday's Union-Bulletin.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.

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