- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Deputy state fire marshals report that investigators have confirmed the identity of a man found dead after an explosive fire earlier this month in his Great Mills apartment, and have determined the cause of the blaze.
The investigators reported Friday that they concluded that the fire that took the life of David Van Ryswick, 56, was the result of his using smoking materials while receiving medical oxygen therapy, shortly before midnight on Feb. 8 at his Fox Chase Village residence.
Van Ryswick was home alone at the time of the fire, the fire marshal’s office reports, and the first volunteer firefighters arriving at the scene found him deceased inside his ground-floor apartment. The fire investigators report that preliminary results from an autopsy by the state medical examiner’s office indicate that Van Ryswick died as a result of the fire.
The Fox Chase apartments were constructed in 1989, the fire marshal’s office reports, which was prior to requirements for including residential fire sprinklers. The sprinklers were mandated in all newly constructed apartments, condominiums, hotels, motels and dormitories in Maryland on July 1, 1990.
The fire marshal’s office urged caution in the home use of oxygen, which can make ignited materials burn more readily and quickly.