CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Officials are investigating the death of a man whose severely burned body was discovered in his chair on the third-floor of a West Side apartment building.
A fire in the unit at Agsten Manor on Randolph Street was relatively small and had nearly burned out when firefighters arrived just after 4:30 a.m. Sunday, said Wes Smith, a Charleston firefighter and investigator.
The first firefighters at the scene quickly put out what was left of the fire.
The blaze was confined to the area where it originated.
Firefighters found the victim, whose name has not been released, with severe burns still seated in a chair, Smith said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Smith said the fire appeared to have been accidental and may have started with a lit cigarette. The department will not know anything conclusive until they receive the reports from the state Medical Examiner's Office.
The medical examiner is working to determine what caused the man's death and confirm his identity. Smith said the apartment was inhabited by a 76-year-old man.
Agsten Manor's hallways have sprinklers, but the apartments do not. Smith said sprinkler systems hold off the flames long enough for people to exit the building in most cases.
He said the building was not evacuated to his knowledge and only the occupant in the adjacent apartment was moved to safety.
The fire remains under investigation.