Man who died in April boat fire identified

Investigation continues into blaze

PORT ANGELES — The man who died in a fire aboard a fishing boat at the Port Angeles Boat Haven on April 25 has been identified as Owen Cook.

Cook, 26, died of toxic asphyxia due to carbon monoxide inhalation, said Mark Nichols, Clallam County prosecuting attorney and ex-officio coroner.

Another significant condition contributing to Cook’s death was methamphetamine intoxication, according to an autopsy performed at the King County Medical Examiner’s Office in Seattle.

Port Angeles police were investigating the suspicious fire and death aboard the Karen L fishing boat, Deputy Chief of Police Jason Viada said Wednesday.

Police had not ruled out homicide or arson.

Fire evidence was being examined in a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) laboratory, Viada said.

“Part of any fire investigation is determining not only where the fire started, but what started the fire,” Viada said. “Really, that’s the focus of the ATF lab examinations right now.”

The Port Angeles Fire Department said two people were sleeping on the boat when the fire was reported at 5:57 a.m. April 25. One person escaped without injury.

The 30-foot wooden boat was in dry dock with other fishing vessels on Port of Port Angeles property on the north side of the east Boat Haven parking lot.

Police obtained video surveillance footage of the fire and interviewed the survivor who was on the Karen L when the fire began.

“Like I said before, his role is still not fully understood, and that has not changed,” Viada said in a Wednesday interview.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected] dailynews.com.

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