Death investigations are ‘falling through the cracks,’ Kansas fire marshal says

Topeka — The Kansas fire marshal says investigations of fatal fires are too often “falling through the cracks,” and he wants lawmakers to do something about it.

Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen on Thursday proposed a reform plan. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Jorgensen identified six fatalities from fires or explosions in the past year that were not thoroughly investigated.

In one instance, the death was later revealed to be a homicide.

Jorgensen urged a committee to amend state law to require an investigation whenever a person dies in a fire or explosion, as well as when a body is found at a fire scene. Fire chiefs also would be required to report the name and address of the dead to the fire marshal’s office.

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