An investigation into a fatal South Buffalo house fire late Tuesday night has uncovered evidence that the man who died may have been a victim of foul play, authorities said Wednesday.
The deceased, whose identity has not been released pending a positive identification of his badly burned body, died in his 1½-story, wood-frame house at 65 Sirret St. at about 10 p.m. Firefighters were summoned there by police who already were at the scene.
Though details were not being released, it is believed homicide detectives found evidence indicating that the fire, originally thought to be accidental, might have been intentional, according to police familiar with the investigation.
City fire marshals are assisting the homicide investigators.
The man, who was described as being between 40 and 50, was found on the first floor of the residence. His dog also died.
“The fire was pretty heavy when we arrived,” said Fire Commissioner Garnell W. Whitfield Jr.
“I’m told he lived alone, though his fiancée sometimes spent time there, but she was not there last night,” Whitfield said. “When firefighters arrived, police were already at the scene evacuating neighbors from either side of the burning house.”
Details on how the fire started are being withheld, Whitfield said, “because it is part of the investigation.”
An autopsy was conducted Wednesday, according to police.
The blaze caused an estimated $120,000 in damages.