Investigation into abandoned apartment fire continues after man found dead inside

Investigation into abandoned apartment fire continues after man found dead inside

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The Evansville Fire Department responded to a fire on Read and Michigan early Sunday morning.

Police said this is an unusual case since no one was living in the apartment.

Now they're trying to figure out what caused the fire and the death of the man inside.

Sergeant Jason Cullum with the Evansville Police Department said, "We'll continue to be in contact with the fire department and once they've completed their investigation into how the fire started, then our detectives will make a decision with how they want to proceed with the investigation."

An automotive business who's been in the neighborhood for more than 20 years said the homes have become abandoned over the years, adding to the problem.

Dale Dartt is the owner of Dartt Automotive Service. Dartt said, "We've seen a deterioration in the homes around here. A lot of rental properties, a lot of abandoned properties now that those homes are not repairable anymore, so the land owners just abandoned them, let it go back to taxes. As a result, they deteriorate, and we see a lot of homeless activity as a result."

Evansville police said house fires in vacant homes happen often but say this case is a little different.

"Generally if there's a fire associated with homeless people being inside a vacant building it's in the winter, where they actually create a fire on purpose to generate heat and then it gets out of control. So to see a fire, when it's hot outside, is a little bit different," said Sergeant Cullum.

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