After fire crews cleared an apartment fire in the Lloyd District neighborhood in northeast Portland, they discovered a body that appears to be unrelated to the fire incident. Officials say the person died due to “natural causes” prior to the event.
“Arson investigators determine the death was not caused by the fire,” reported FOX 12’s Debra Gil on the scene. “Police say that the person died from natural causes before the fire started.”
Fire crews were called to the scene just before 11:16 p.m. in the 600 block of Northeast Halsey Street. While searching for a person they thought was trapped inside, they moved quickly to extinguish the fire.
“They found fire burning on two sides of this two-story duplex and on multiple floors,” said Gil.
Navigation became extremely difficult for the crew through one apartment because of clutter throughout the area. In order to reach upper floors, crew members had to use ladders after the back stairwell completely burned through.
The apartment was destroyed, but the person inside the burned unit made it out safely. However, the crew learned that a dead body was located in the other unit the fire had not reached.
“Police say the officers who responded say unfortunately that person had been there for some time and that’s how they knew for certain the death was not caused by the fire.”
A statement posted on Twitter by Gil announced the news on Friday.
“Crews with @PDXFire knocked down and a fire at this duplex on NE Halsey at about 12:15 a.m. but found someone dead inside. They tell us the person did not die because of the fire.”
The cause of death is still unknown as medical examiners are still investigating.