Man found dead in burning East Side home

Arson investigators: No foul play suspected

Arson investigators with the San Antonio Fire Department said they have found no signs of foul play at a burning East Side home where an elderly man was found dead.

Firefighters were called to the home near the Interstate 35 access road and N. Pine Street before 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Members of the arson squad and the San Antonio Police Department's homicide unit were later called to the scene after the body of a man, believed to be in his 80s, was found inside.

"He was burned, but we don't know if that was the cause of death. The (medical examiner)will make that determination," said Lt. James Bennett, with the arson squad.

Bennett said investigators found nothing indicating the man had been a victim of foul play.

But he said homicide detectives were called in just in case.

"The door was locked. Nothing was disturbed," he said, "so right now it's an ongoing investigation."

A neighbor had alerted firefighters to the fire, calling 911 after noticing smoke coming into his own home.

"That smoke was pouring into another apartment whose smoke detector was alarming," Bennett said. "The victim did not have an operable smoke detector. There was one installed but there was no battery."

Another man who lives next door said he kicked in the door and tried, unsuccessfully, to reach the victim.

Firefighters later found him in the kitchen after putting out the fire.

As of noon, the name of the man who was found dead had not been released.

Although investigators spent part of the time at the scene focusing on a microwave that had obvious fire damage, Bennett said it's too early to say whether it was involved in causing the fire.

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