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Tucson man killed in fire is a descendant of world famous composer

Published: Dec. 4, 2009 at 9:11 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2009 at 3:30 PM MST
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Sergei Rachmaninoff
Sergei Rachmaninoff

By Dan Marries - email

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Authorities have released the name of a man who died in a house fire yesterday morning.

He was 23 year old Alexander Wanamaker and the great-great grandson of one of Russia's most famous musical composers.

Investigators are tentatively ruling Wanamaker's death accidental but they are waiting for autopsy results to say for sure.

Police saw smoke coming from a house in the 200 block of N. Country Club Road. Firefighters got to the scene within minutes and found Wanamaker's lifeless body in one of the rooms. He was rushed to UMC where he died about an hour later.

Wanamaker made news last year when he went missing on a day hike in the Catalina mountains. Rescue crews searched for two days and found him camping in Catalina State Park. He told searchers that he was never lost but friends became worried when he didn't return home.

Wanamaker's great-great grandfather was Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 - 1943) often considered one of the finest pianists of his day. For many in classical music, Rachmanioff was one of the last connections between 19th century romanticism and modern times.