Resident dies when flames engulf house

Flames ripped through a single-story residential structure in Urasoe City’s Miyagi district one morning last week, leaving in its wake the body believed to be than of an unemployed man living there.

Urasoe firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours after receiving the emergency call, but the one-story structure was totally destroyed.  In the rubble was the body of a man authorities believe to be that of a 55-year-old unemployed man who lived in the house.  Police have been unable to track that man down.

The fire broke out on a quiet residential street lined with apartment buildings, but the Urasoe Fire Department kept the flames from spreading to other structures.  The house burned strongly, causing its tile roof to collapse.  Urasoe Police arson investigators say they’ve not determined the origin of the fire yet.

Police will conduct a forensic autopsy on the body to determine cause of death, and to see if it sheds clues on the cause of the fire.  Police and neighbors say the man lived in the house before with his family, but now lived by himself.  Observers say they thought the man appeared handicapped when he walked.