Unable to find family members of Steven A. Cyr, Clallam County authorities released his name on Sept. 16 as the 63-year-old man who died in a travel-trailer fire Aug. 30 at Diamond Point in an effort to locate his relatives.
Mark Nichols, coroner and county prosecuting attorney, released the information following repeated inquiries from the Peninsula Daily News “in hopes that any reporting done on this matter may result in next-of-kin receiving notice as to the death of a family member,” he said in an email.
Nichols said law enforcement and an area funeral home tried to make contact with people with Cyr’s last name to notify them before his name was made public, but no one called back.
“We were trying to contact the family and got stuck in a terrible game of tortured phone tag,” he said in a Sept. 10 interview.
Notice of death is not provided by voice mail, he said.
In an earlier interview, Nichols said an autopsy showed Cyr died of smoke inhalation and that the manner of death was accidental.
Brian King, sheriff’s office chief criminal deputy, said the fire was not suspicious although a cause has not been determined.
“Nothing obvious tells us it’s criminal,” he said.
A Sequim-area Fire District 3 fire crew arrived at the blaze at the end of Ironwood Drive at 10:14 p.m. Aug. 30. It was located on property with three or four other travel trailers and a house.
The trailer was already fully involved, Assistant Fire Chief Dan Orr said. Cyr’s body was lying on a couch.
Orr said a resident of the home saw Cyr about 90 minutes before 9-1-1 was called.
King said authorities knew Cyr’s identity soon after the fire but that efforts had to be exhausted to find family members.
“It does take some time to cross the Ts and dot all those Is and check the boxes to say we’ve done everything we possible could,” he said.
King said about one in 25 deaths occur in which no family member can be contacted.
“People become extremely, distantly estranged from their families or they just don’t have family, period,” he said.
Under the Clallam County code, if no family, friend or church organization claims responsibility for Cyr’s remains, and it is determined he lacks the assets to cover the cost of burial, he will be cremated at county expense.