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Grandfather found frozen to death on rear porch

A 70-year-old Buffalo grandfather was found frozen to death Saturday morning in the frigid cold after he apparently slipped on his porch while letting his three dogs out, police said Sunday.

A neighbor discovered Glenn Allen Sr., a Marine Corps veteran and former Bethlehem Steel laborer, lying on the rear concrete porch of his home at 301 Masten Ave., where he lived alone. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy revealed that Allen died of hypothermia after extended exposure to temperatures of about 10 degrees with a near-zero degree wind chill. Foul play has been ruled out, police said.

Homicide Squad Detective Sgt. David Lillis said investigators were unsure how long Allen had been out in the cold and did not know the exact day or time of death.

Police said Allen was last seen alive at about 8 p.m. Friday, when friends he had been visiting brought him home.

"It's a very unfortunate situation," Lillis said. "The friends told us that they drove him home, and he needed assistance to get into his house because he was intoxicated. . . . We believe he was probably letting his dogs out, and he just lost his balance, passed out and fell asleep on his back porch."

"And with the cold weather, he just didn't wake up," he added. "It was so cold out there that someone could have easily succumbed to the elements."

At about 8:30 a.m. Saturday, his next-door neighbor called 911.

Detectives said Allen was clothed, but his hat, coat and watch were beside him on the porch and loose change was scattered around him.

Family members said Allen loved to socialize and hang out with his dogs.

"It's a real shock that he died this way," said his sister Julia Mays, 73. "It really didn't sink in yet. We just really want to know what happened to to him. I want to know why he was outside and why he couldn't get help."

Mays said her brother had "two bad legs" and occasionally walked with a cane. Some family members suspect that his leg problems could have contributed to his death, preventing him from getting up after his fall.

Allen had lived alone in his Masten Avenue home for 15 years. His family has owned the house since 1950, when his parents purchased it.

In the 1950s, he served in the Korean War as a member of the U.S. Marines for about three years.

When he returned to the United States, he lived in New York City for about 10 years before moving back to Buffalo. Allen worked various jobs, including stints at the Buffalo Post Office, Bethlehem Steel and Republic Steel, his family said.

"He knew everybody in Buffalo, and he was really well-known," said his 79-year-old sister, Naoma.


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