Autopsy conducted on Boardman fire victim, house demolished

A house that went up in flames on Border Ave. in Boardman is being demolished.

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office released new information Monday regarding the autopsy of the man who was killed in a house fire last week.

Mahoning County Deputy Coroner Joseph Ohr said preliminary evidence suggests the victim was alone at the time and locked inside the house on Border Avenue.

According to the report, the body was found in an upstairs bathroom. Investigators say all rooms of the house contained fire damage.

“At the scene, the decedent had a metal chain padlocked around his ankle… The metal chain was then chained around the base of the toilet,” Ohr said.

There was no trauma found on the body, and the cause of death appears to be by smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning, though toxicology results are still pending.

The autopsy revealed that the victim was an adult white male who was the appropriate height, weight and age of the homeowner — Andrew Gallagher, 37. Because Gallagher has no local dentist, and due to the condition of the body, identity will be confirmed by DNA samples from his mother and sister.

Investigators say Gallagher had a history of depression and had attempted suicide in the past. Investigators are pursuing the case as a homicide but say the victim may have set the blaze to take his own life.

Township trustees hired a contractor to tear down the home on Monday morning. Contractors had to wait for the gas line to be shut off before they could begin the demolition.

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