Danville man who died in downtown apartment fire identified

Danville man who died in downtown apartment fire identified

UPDATED 9 p.m. Friday

DANVILLE — State and local fire officials are investigating an early morning fire at the Wolford Apartments in downtown Danville that left a male resident dead.

Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson said that Alan K. Junkert, 84, was pronounced dead at the scene in his apartment at 6:38 a.m. Friday.

Johnson said that an autopsy conducted on Friday afternoon revealed Mr. Junkert died as a result of the fire.

Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said firefighters were called to the high-rise apartment complex at 9 E. Harrison St., at 6:15 a.m.

When they arrived, they found smoke on the seventh floor and began evacuating residents, many of whom are seniors, to the north side of the building and the lower level.

There were no other injuries.

Thomason said firefighters discovered a chair on fire in an apartment. They also found a male occupant.

“He was deceased,” Thomason said, adding authorities don’t believe his death is suspicious “at this point.”

“I can speculate that smoke is a contributing factor to his death,” Thomason said.

He did not say whether firefighters found any smoking materials at the scene.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze quickly, and the fire was contained to that apartment, Thomason said.

He said residents were returned to their apartments by about 7 a.m.

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