Staff Report

Harrison fire fighters were dispatched to what proved to be a fatal house fire about 2 a.m. Thursday in the 700 block of North Maple.

Harrison Fire Chief Marc Lowery said a fatal house fire Thursday morning was still under investigation Thursday afternoon.

Fire fighters were dispatched to the structure fire in the 700 block of North Maple Street about 2 a.m. Thursday.

The first crews arriving on scene reported heavy fire from the rear of the residence. They made an aggressive interior fire attack and were able to quickly extinguish the majority of the fire, although various areas of the rear of the building concealed fire within the walls, floors and ceiling, Lowery said.

After flames were initially extinguished, fire fighters made a search of the structure.

“Unfortunately,” Lowery said in a statement, “the crews discovered a deceased individual in a room in the rear of the residence.

The body of the victim (no identification of gender was made) was released to Harrison Police and the coroner’s office. The body will be sent to the state Crime Lab for positive identification and to determine the exact cause of death, Lowery said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but it apparently started in a utility room at the rear of the house and initially appeared to be accidental, Lowery said.

Fire fighters extinguished concealed fire and vented heat and smoke from the remainder of the residence before clearing the scene about 7 a.m. Thursday.

Lowery said the extreme cold made some fire hoses freeze, as well as breathing apparatus fire fighters use, but they were able to overcome those difficulties.

Lowery also said the fire department extends “sincere condolences to the family of the deceased individual and asks others in our community to keep this family in their thoughts and prayers during this tragic loss.”

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