Meadville Tribune

November 13, 2013

Fire victim ID and cause of death released

By Mary Spicer
Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — The identity of the man who died in Tuesday’s fire in an apartment at 561 Lord St. in Meadville was released Wednesday afternoon by Crawford County Coroner Scott Schell.

Jerry Lynn Hall, 39, was pronounced dead at the scene. Schell has ruled the death a suicide and cause of death as asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation.

During a Tuesday interview, Schell noted that he was investigating some other injuries on Hall’s body; Wednesday, he described those injuries as “self-inflicted superficial knife wounds.”

Fire Chief Larndo (Tunie) Hedrick said Wednesday that the cause of the fire would remain “undetermined,” in accordance with Tuesday’s ruling by the Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal investigating the incident. “I don’t have any proof that (Hall) actually did that,” Hedrick said when asked if the coroner’s suicide ruling would result in a change in the official cause of the fire. “It’s plausible, but I can’t prove it.”

Firefighters responding to a report of a fire in the building discovered Hall’s body.

The blaze in the three-story wood frame building divided into four apartments owned by Eli Mast was restricted to its room of origin, which was Hall’s apartment.

Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at