Investigators Believe Deadly Fire was Accidental

Investigators Believe Deadly Fire was Accidental

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Sam Penrod ReportingThe fire broke out last night just after dark in a small apartment on South State Street in Provo. A body burned beyond recognition was found inside and today investigators have been trying to figure out what happened.

Fire investigators were not able to determine if the victim was a man or a woman, but after an autopsy today, it was found to be a female who died, but so far they cannot positively identify the victim, although it is believed to be the woman who lived there.

Fire crews were called to the small apartment behind a Chinese restaurant on State street last night, at about seven o'clock. They got the fire put out quickly, but found a body inside.

Fire investigators treated the fire as a crime scene, until they could rule out foul play. Today it was determined that the victim was alive when the fire started and now investigators suspect the victim may have fallen asleep while smoking in bed.

Chief Coy Porter, Provo Fire Dept: "She was alive when the fire occurred so that has put us back into a situation where we are going to now focus our fire investigation more on the belief this was probably an accidental fire, perhaps smoking related in the bedroom, rather than a suspicious fire."

Fire investigators say that in these types of fires, they usually start out slow, that heat builds up until there is a very intense burst of flames and that can be difficult to escape from.

The medical examiner will now do DNA testing, but that will take several days until the victim may be positively identified.

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