WOOSTER — A Wooster man died when a fire broke out in his Mindy Lane apartment early Sunday morning.
William Kanserski was in his early 70s, according to Wayne County Coroner Dr. Amy Jolliff, who said it is believed a lit cigarette likely started the fire.
Kanserski was in his home at 1056 Mindy Lane, Apt. 1305, when the fire started about 3 a.m. The building in the Willow Wood apartment complex contains six individual one-story units, which all share a roof and attic.
Neighbor Renee Morris, whose apartment shares a back wall with Kanserski’s, said she was awakened by police at about 3:15 a.m., who told her and her husband, Zane, to evacuate the building.
“It was very scary,” Renee said. “I’ve never been through anything like that before.”
The Wooster Fire Department had to knock out a small portion of their wall and removed insulation to ensure the fire had not spread, Zane said.
It is believed that the other units in the building suffered only smoke damage, the Morrises said.
The Morrises were able to get back into their apartment, but could not stay due to the smoke damage. They left the area at about 5:20 a.m. to find accommodations, and when they returned at 7:30 a.m., firefighters and other investigators were still on the scene.
“There were lots and lots of officials everywhere,” Renee said. “It was very nerve-wracking. You see this on TV all the time, but never think it’s going to happen to you.”
An autopsy on Kanserski will be performed, Jolliff said. Until then, she said she could not identify an exact cause of death other than to say that it was “fire-related.”
The Wooster Fire Department said more information about the fire would be released Monday.