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March 31, 2010 - Dementia Patient's Death Ruled Homicide

The death of a dementia patient whose pajamas caught fire has been ruled a homicide by the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office, Michigan officials said. Walter Gajewski Sr., 92, died Jan. 7 when he tried to stamp out a burning absorbent medical pad with his foot, the medical examiner's office said after a 12-week investigation.

Gajewski was alone in a community room of the psychiatric wing at Botsford Hospital, Farmington Hills, when he suffered third-degree burns, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

Neither Gajewski nor Botsford staff members were the cause of the fire, said Farmington Hills Police Chief Charles Nebus.

Investigators uncovered no explanation as to how the pad caught fire and no ignition source was found. The investigation remains open, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.

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