Firefighters Investigate Death, Fire After Body Found

By Dillon Thomas

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– Residents returned to their apartment homes on East Drake Road in Fort Collins on Saturday evening, after a fire and death investigation kept many of them out.

Poudre Fire Authority told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas firefighters responded to a call just before 1 p.m. Saturday, after receiving a report of smoke in a Whispering Pines apartment.

drake road fire 10pkg frame 1170 Firefighters Investigate Death, Fire After Body Found

(credit: CBS)

When they arrived and entered the apartment, they discovered the body of an adult male inside.

“I saw a lot of smoke coming out the doorway,” said Darlena Mortenson, a witness. “Within minutes, [firefighters] were bringing a guy down, that was unconscious, and had a flaming rag in his hand.”

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(credit: CBS)

Firefighters confirmed the man was deceased. His identity was not released, pending notification of next-of-kin.

Mortenson said the man may have been deceased prior to firefighters responding.

drake road fire 5vo frame 370 Firefighters Investigate Death, Fire After Body Found

(credit: CBS)

“He was charred pretty badly,” Mortenson said.

Fort Collins police joined in the investigation led by Poudre Fire. Police said they would not lead the investigation, until Poudre Fire deemed it criminal in nature.

fort collins fire Firefighters Investigate Death, Fire After Body Found

(credit: Poudre Fire)

Meanwhile, several residents told CBS4 they were overwhelmed with emotions, after witnessing the response.

“It shocked me, tremendously,” Mortenson said. “I felt sad for [the victim].”

drake road fire 5vo frame 90 Firefighters Investigate Death, Fire After Body Found

(credit: CBS)

Poudre Fire Authority did not release a cause of death or cause of the fire on Saturday.

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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