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Investigators trying to find answers to deadly fire

By Brad Johnson, Reporter, bradj@kmiz.com
Published On: Jul 26 2013 04:27:20 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 30 2013 09:40:30 AM CDT
Bill Reeg

Bill Reeg, 48, was found dead inside his burned Kingdom City home.

KINGDOM CITY, Mo. -

Firefighters found a man's body while fighting the fire at what used to be Roger's Towing on Old Highway 40. The fire started shortly before midnight Thursday, and took two hours to get under control.

Investigators tell ABC 17 News 48-year-old Bill Reeg's body was found in the home. They say he was staying at his girlfriend’s house when the fire broke out shortly before midnight. They said they have some ideas of where the fire started. But the building’s remains were still smoldering and smoking nearly 18-hours after the fire started. They haven't been physically able to get inside and investigate it.

Investigators are waiting for the smoke and flames to burn out before they begin to piece together what happened. The State Fire Marshal's Office and the Callaway County Sheriff's Department hope to be able to do that within the next few days.

“The rubble behind us is pretty extensive and to sift through that is going to take some time,” Sgt. Clay Chism with the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department said. “We don't want to make a judgment too early, however, we did have a few ideas as to how and where the fire would have started.”

Chism said they aren't going to rush to any judgment until they're certain what happened. He said what they do know is Reeg, and his girlfriend were inside the house when the fire started. His girlfriend was able to get out in time without any injuries. But Reeg wasn't as lucky.

Investigators aren't exactly sure about the details of what happened. They say the preliminary autopsy performed this morning only showed there was no foul play involved.

“The medical examiners office will do further testing including toxicology testing and it'd probably be four to six weeks before they make a ruling as to the final cause of death, but we're certain it will be fire related,” Chism said.

Investigators said because of the extensive damage it could take weeks to find the answers

Friends of the victims are collecting donations. Donations are being collected at the Wright Bros Store in Calwood, or at City Hall in Kingdom City. This website has also been created for any monetary donations.

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