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Man found dead at scene of Bloomington apartment fire

S Leonard Spring Rd Fire
S Leonard Springs Rd Fire
Posted at 8:41 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 21:30:15-04

BLOOMINGTON — A 43-year-old man was found dead in an apartment that caught on fire late Wednesday in the city's southeast end, officials say.

Firefighters found the body of Bobby Coker, Jr. of Bloomington while searching the evacuated apartments at about 9:51 p.m. in the 2900 block of South Leonard Springs Road, according to the Monroe County Coroner's Office.

He was found in the apartment where the fire appeared to have started.

An autopsy conducted Wednesday showed Coker died from asphyxia due to smoke inhalation. His cause of death was ruled accidental.

Fire officials determined the blaze started with a gas range in the kitchen after Coker had been cooking and left it unattended, according to the Coroner's Office.

No foul play is suspected in his death.

Firefighters pulled several cats and dogs from the apartments, and residents were evacuated from the building, according to the Monroe Fire Protection District.

One pet needed to be resuscitated.

Duke Energy and CenterPoint Energy were contacted to shut off utilities to the apartment complex due to safety concerns. The local Red Cross was contacted.

A firefighter was taken to a hospital for a minor injury.