MONTEVIDEO — The victim of the Jan. 14 apartment complex fire in Montevideo has been identified as Virginia Lois Kruger, age 83.
A preliminary autopsy indicates that she died of smoke inhalation, according to information from Montevideo Police Chief Ken Schule.
The fire originated in Kruger’s apartment. She lived alone. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office. It is believed to be accidental, Schule said.
The fire was reported by a 911 call at 1:13 a.m. Jan. 14 in the Lincoln Apartment complex at the intersection of 17th Street and Lincoln Avenue. The Montevideo Fire Department was able to contain the fire to Kruger’s apartment, but there was smoke damage throughout the six-unit apartment building.
All of the tenants were displaced by the fire. The chief said it’s believed the residents will be able to return to their apartments as repairs are made and the smoke damage cleaned, but it is not clear when the work will be completed. The extent of smoke damage varied depending on proximity to the apartment where the fire originated.
The apartment residents included a mix of both families with children and adults without children.
Kruger does not have family in the immediate area, and it took time for authorities to locate her next of kin.