Fire being blamed for Edmond man's death

Sunday, January 20th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) _ A fire that appeared to have spread from the kitchen to other parts of the house on Saturday is being blamed for the death of a 28-year-old man.

The man, whose identity was not released, was home alone when a neighbor awoke about 5:30 a.m. and discovered flames and heavy smoke, said Edmond fire investigator Maj. Mike Fitzgerald.

Firefighters attacked the blaze inside the home but couldn't get further because the roof collapsed, Fitzgerald said. After putting out the blaze, firefighters found the man's body in the living room.

``It appeared he may have been trying to get out at the time,'' Fitzgerald said. ``There was a smoke alarm, but we're unsure if it was working at the time.''

The medical examiner's office tentatively ruled smoke inhalation as the cause of death. Investigators said the fire _ which caused $125,000 in damage to the home _ started in the kitchen, possibly from an appliance left unattended.

The man's wife, who was out of town overnight, asked fire investigators not to release her husband's name until all family members had been notified.