'Spontaneous combustion' considered in Sequoyah County death
BY KENDRICK MARSHALL World Staff Writer
Monday, February 18, 2013
Sequoyah County authorities are attempting to determine the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose burned body was discovered in a house Monday.
Firefighters were called to a home on Bawcom Road between Muldrow and Sallisaw about 11 a.m. after someone reported seeing smoke coming from inside the structure, Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart said.
Several neighbors entered the home and attempted to extinguish what they believed was trash burning inside, only to realize it was a body, Lockhart said.
The remains of the unidentified 66-year-old man were found in the kitchen with no other fire damage in the home, Lockhart said.
“This is very bizarre,” he said. “You’re thinking someone poured something on him, but there was no fire source.”
Authorities said the man had a history of heavy drinking and smoking.
While the cause of the fire has not been determined, Lockhart said officials have not ruled out spontaneous combustion.
The state Medical Examiner’s Office is expected to perform an autopsy to determine how the man died.