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After Man's Body Found in Burned-Out Home, Many Questions Remain

By Erica Demarest | August 2, 2013 2:18pm | Updated on August 2, 2013 3:41pm
 A man's remains were found Thursday in a Bridgeport home that caught fire in April.
Man's Remains Found in Bridgeport Building
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BRIDGEPORT — Neighbors and authorities are searching for answers after a dead body was found Thursday in a Bridgeport house that caught fire in April.

Flames erupted at the two-family home in the 3200 block of South Aberdeen Street in the early hours of April 10. Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said no residents were reported injured at the time.

On Thursday, a man’s burned remains were found inside the house about 9:15 a.m., authorities said. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office could not provide the man's identification Friday, nor did it determine a cause of death.

Workers cleaning out the home on Friday morning said they had noticed “a stink” coming from a back room the day before. When they investigated, they discovered the man’s body under a pile of debris.

According to neighbor Natasha Ruiz, the workers had been cleaning out the gutted house — tossing burnt belongings into a large burgundy trash bin — for about a week and a half.

Several residents said they were surprised the workers hadn't found the body sooner. Some speculated that the man's remains were dumped in the house sometime after the fire. No one has lived there since April.

A black Honda civic has been sitting in front of the house for months, said Allen Swartz, whose niece lives across the street. Its windshield is littered with parking tickets, and one neighbor claimed the car belonged to a man who lived in the burned house.

Langford said the Fire Department is working closely with the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine a cause of death. Fire officials are reviewing photos from the April incident, and an autopsy was slated for Friday afternoon.