A Northland man died Monday afternoon after fire broke out in his one-story ranch home.
Fire crews responded to the house in the 3700 block of Northeast 35th Street shortly after 2 p.m. and had the blaze under control by 2:24 p.m., said Kansas City Fire Department Chief Paul Berardi.
Firefighters found the victim, described by Berardi to be in his late 30s or early 40s, in a lower-level garage. Emergency medical personnel took him to North Kansas City Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.
Berardi said the victim suffered some burn and smoke inhalation injuries, though the cause of death will be confirmed by an autopsy.
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The fire’s cause remained uncertain Monday afternoon, Berardi said, although representatives of Kansas City police’s bomb and arson squad will investigate.
The home contained no working smoke detectors, Berardi said, adding that firefighters also had to navigate scattered pieces of auto repair equipment in the home to find and retrieve the victim.
“There was certainly a lot of equipment in the basement, which is where he was found,” Berardi said.
Berardi described the victim as the lone occupant of the house, but Lesley Teeter, a next-door neighbor, said the victim’s parents were routinely at the residence.
“I’m in shock,” said Teeter, who said she came home from a doctor’s appointment about 2:30 p.m. to find the small street crowded with emergency vehicles. Teeter described the man and his parents as longtime fixtures of the neighborhood.
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