Authorities said a man found dead in the second-floor bedroom of this Fairview Twp. home died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Authorities said a man found dead in the second-floor bedroom of this Fairview Twp. home died of a gunshot wound to the head. (John A. Pavoncello)

A Fairview Township man found dead after a fire in his second-floor apartment died of a gunshot wound to the head, York County Coroner Pam Gay said.

A manner of death has not yet been determined for 62-year-old Thomas Bedrin, she said.

"We are still suspecting it to be a suicide," Gay said.

The coroner said her office is waiting to rule on manner of death until Fairview Township Police and a state police fire marshal finish their investigations.

That could take several weeks, Chief Deputy Coroner Claude Stabley said.

An autopsy Thursday morning at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital confirmed the cause of death, Stabley said.

Bedrin, of the 600 block of Pleasant View Road, died of the gunshot wound before his body suffered thermal burns from the fire in his room, according to Gay.

The background: Firefighters were called to Bedrin's apartment just after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The owner of the house, who lives on the first floor, called 911 after spotting the fire, then grabbed a garden hose and climbed onto a lower roof of his home, where he sprayed water through his tenant's bedroom window, according to Fairview Township Fire Chief Chris Weidenhammer.

"He did a darn good job keeping the fire in check," Weidenhammer said.

Flames were contained to the second-floor bedroom where the body was found, according to township fire Lt. Bill Carlisle.

The house sustained about $35,000 in damage and is repairable, Weidenhammer said, but is currently uninhabitable due to water damage. The bedroom where the fire started was destroyed, he said.

Rescue attempt: Before firefighters got to the scene, the homeowner and two passing Pennsylvania American Water Co. employees found the victim in his room and carried him downstairs, according to Carlisle, at which point they realized he was already dead.

Stabley confirmed the fire started near Bedrin's body, and Weidenhammer confirmed he was told there were smoking materials in the room.

Trooper Bradley Dunham, a state police fire marshal, said the fire is not suspicious.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.