Man ID’d in fatal house fire

March 9, 2018

SPRINGDALE TWP. — The man who died in a Tuesday morning house fire was Brian Brantley, age 45, of Brethren.

The Manistee County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Brantley’s body was found by first responders around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday after receiving a call the 17611 Pine View Drive, Springdale Twp., according to the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office.

The information comes from preliminary results of an autopsy conducted by county medical examiner Lois Goslinoski. The sheriff’s office reports that there are no injuries, signs of blunt trauma, ballistic evidence or sharp force wounds on Brantley’s body.

The fire investigator, Detective Sgt. Dan Drew of the Michigan State Police Traverse City Post, was on the scene early Tuesday morning.

“There’s nothing indicating that there was foul play to the deceased that we know of or that was visible,” Drew said.

The sheriff’s office is still awaiting toxicology results in order to determine a definitive cause of death, but Drew said there was evidence of sooting in the airways of the body.

“That means he most likely expired because of breathing in the smoke from the fire and carbon monoxide,” he said.

An investigation of the scene revealed excessive damage to the master bedroom, the room of origin.

“Because the room of origin was so badly damaged or burned, I can’t exclude careless smoking or perhaps an electrical malfunction,” Drew said, adding that there was no positive evidence to point to the latter. There was no evidence of an electrical malfunction, but because there was no evidence, I can’t exclude it.”

Drew said there were no accelerants found.

“I’ll go as far as to say that our K-9, from the St. Ignace post, did not find any accelerants around that room of origin,” he said. “I’m able to exclude definitively that there were any accelerants used.”

Read the full story in Friday’s Ludington Daily News print and e-Editions.