Weekend fire claims life

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 11, 2003

A vacant house burned to the ground Sunday with a man inside.


Fire Chief Mark Walker said that a fire at 2501 Old Montgomery Hwy. occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning.

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The Selma Fire Department was in the area because of an unrelated call about a car wreck on the highway. Around 4:30 a.m. Sunday the firefighters saw smoke coming from the house and went to investigate.

When they got there, Walker said, the house was destroyed.

Walker added that the fire department never received a call alerting them to the house.

When the firefighters arrived they cooled the hot spots and ensured the fire wouldn’t spread.

Since the house was vacant and had no utilities there wasn’t any further investigation, Walker said.

Sunday afternoon the fire department received a call from a relative of someone who used the vacant house as a place to sleep. After returning to the site and upon inspection, firefighters discovered the remains of a body.

Walker said that the investigation is being handed by the state fire marshall’s office.

Police Chief Robert Green said that the fire department contacted the police Sunday afternoon concerning the remains.

Since workers from the state forensics lab were already in town, Green said, they accompanied police to the site and gathered the remains.

Green said it would probably be impossible to discover what the cause of death was. However, he did say that the victim was known to start fires in cinder blocks at the house to keep warm and to cook.