A few new details were released about the Monday morning house fire, just south of downtown, where a man was found dead.
The Fort Wayne Fire Department responded just after 5:30 a.m. to the 700 block of Dewald Street, just east of Fairfield Avenue, where they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of a house, according to a written statement from the department.
When crews went inside the house, they found a victim inside on the first floor, the statement said. Firefighters immediately removed the man, identified this morning as 84-year-old John L. Shirey.
Shirey was later pronounced dead at the scene, the statement said, and the Allen County Coroner’s Office today ruled that the cause of death was smoke inhalation and thermal burns. The death has been ruled an accident.
Firefighters searched the home further but did not find anyone else inside, the statement said.
A neighbor at the scene earlier described his interaction with Shirey as cordial yet not overly familiar.
“He never did say his name, but he always said ‘hi’ to me as he walked by,” said neighbor David Cook.
Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 35 minutes, but it caused heavy smoke and fire damage, the statement said.