Man found dead outside burning house

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Police are investigating after a person was found dead early Tuesday morning (June 26) when firefighters arrived on the scene of a house fire in East St. Louis.

Assistant Fire Chief George McClellan with the East St. Louis Fire Department said the initial call came in around 1:30a.m.  for a car fire near the corner of South 29th Street and Converse Avenue. The call was upgraded to a structure fire upon arrival.

McClellan said there was an active fire when crews arrived with flames coming out of the back of the house. While fighting the fire, crews found a body outside of the burning house next to a burning vehicle.

The body was badly burned, according to McClellan, but the victim appears to be a male between 25 and 40 -years- old based on muscle tone and other features.

East St. Louis police are working to figure out if the person died as a result of the fire or some other cause. In the meantime, they are treating the property as a crime scene.

“Cars just don’t blow up, said McClellan. "They don’t just spontaneously combust."

McClellan said the house was under renovation, so no one was believed to be living in it at the time of the fire. However, McClellan said it appears there has been a lot of activity in the house recently.