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POLICE & COURTS

Firefighters find body in burning vacant house

The body of a man was found early Thursday inside a vacant East Side house that was engulfed in flames.

Lt. Garnell M. Smith, commander of Buffalo's fire marshal office, said investigators are trying to determine the man's identity, and homicide investigators were called to the scene at 196 Madison St. to help determine if foul play caused the man's death.

"This man was probably a squatter," said Smith. "Neighbors said the house was vacant for about five years. They also tell us that the house was known for drug activity."

Firefighters responded to a 2:13 a.m. report of flames shooting out of the home on Madison. When the first fire crew arrived, firefighters discovered a man's body on the first floor near the doorway of the 1 1/2 -story house.

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