New Ulm fatal fire ruled accidental

NEW ULM – The Feb. 27 fire that caused the death of Darcy F. Moldan, 50, of New Ulm, has been ruled accidental in nature, according to a press release from the New Ulm Fire Department.

An investigation by the New Ulm Fire Department, the New Ulm Police Department and the State Fire Marshal’s office has determined the fire started in a plastic wastebasket in Moldan’s second-floor apartment at 101 Center Street in New Ulm.

New Ulm Fire Chief Paul Macho said the investigation could not determine what exactly caused the fire to start in the wastebasket, “but by process of elimination, ruling out all other possible causes, we have determined it was accidental.”

Macho did say there were smoke alarms in the building and they were activated by the fire.

Firefighters were called to the apartment building about 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27. A family on the first floor of the building had been awakened by another tenant returning from work, and evacuated the building.

Firefighters found Moldan in her apartment, and she was taken to New Ulm Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Macho said cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning caused by smoke inhalation.

The State Fire Marshal’s office said the investigation remains open, and by law it cannot comment on the investigation until it is closed, according to media spokesperson Jen Longaecker.

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