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Police identify victim of house fire

Posted: July 1, 2014 - 2:10pm

The State Medical Examiner positively identified Paul Baylink, 46, as the person killed in a Rainbow Court house fire on June 13, Homer Police announced in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

An autopsy was done on June 17, but police have not received the report and do not know the cause of death, said Lt. Will Hutt.

Baylink is the owner of the house, and family members had been notified earlier that he might be the fire victim. Baylink was the only person in the house at the time of the fire. No pets were found in the house, either.

Baylink died in the house fire in downtown Homer on the morning of June 13. A neighbor called in the fire about 10:40 a.m. When firefighters arrived, the northeast corner of the home where the fire started was fully engulfed in flames. A neighbor who lives across the street, Joe Brunner, said he went in the front door and called Baylink’s name, but got no response. Smoke 3- to 4-feet thick covered the room, he said.

“I had to go back out,” Brunner said. “I couldn’t breathe.”

The first three responding Homer Volunteer Fire Department firefighters also attempted to save Baylink and even waived a safety rule requiring two firefighters to be outside when two go inside. Brunner told firefighters the location of Baylink’s bedroom in the northeast corner of the home, and they took a hose line and went in to search. Firefighters knocked the fire down, said HVFD firefighter Dan Miotke, and found Baylink’s body in a hallway outside a bedroom. Miotke said it was obvious Baylink was dead.

Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said it appeared Baylink was trying to escape the fire. Police do not suspect foul play or anything suspicious, he said.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.


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Allison 07/01/14 - 07:34 pm

Paul is our lifelong friend from Redlands, CA. Our hearts break for the loss of his family and friends. The Baylink family is our family, and the loss is immense. Thank you to all who tried to save him. Our hearts are full of love for you all, and we know his spirit lay in Homer, a place he chose to call home.

Allison & Steve Sommer

Allison 07/02/14 - 02:23 pm
Paul - thank you to all who tried to help

We know Paul as our dear friend that we grew up with in Redlands, CA. Our hearts go out to his neighbors and the town, firefighters, responders who tried to save him.
My husband and I have known the family a long time, and we celebrate his life and cry over the future lost. For his family, the loss is immeasurable.
The tragedy has hit our circle of friends and schoolmates hard, and we mourn his passing with immense pain.
Thank you to the town, your compassion is sent from heaven.

-Allison & Steve Sommer

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