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Source: Kokomo Tribune

Early morning house fire kills man, 31

By Cody Neuenschwander
KOKOMO An early morning house fire at 604 W. Lincoln Road claimed one life Wednesday.

Thomas A. Pulver, 31, died in the house fire, according to Howard County Coroner Steven Seele. Seele said Wednesday afternoon the final cause of death is pending, with preliminary tests indicating smoke inhalation.

Pulver was the only inhabitant of the residence, Seele said, and appeared to be alone at the time of his death. No foul play is expected, he added.

The fire was called in at 3:34 a.m. and, according to a fire report, Kokomo Fire Department personnel arrived to the fully consumed structure at 3:38 a.m.

The report says the smoke was visible to responders from the Kokomo Fire Department by the time they were driving past the Indiana University Kokomo campus.

Upon arrival, they found the fire was heaviest in the center of the house, and due to collapsing sections of the roof it was difficult for firefighters to attack the heaviest of the blaze.

The report says personnel spoke with a bystander who broke windows in the house to look for anybody trapped inside.

They were using pikes to pull down sections of the ceiling from the outside to clear paths to fight the fire when a rescue crew found Pulver on a bedroom floor inside.

When the most serious part of the fire was knocked down, rescue crews verified that nobody else was inside the house.

Seele was notified and arrived on the scene. He said Pulver was confirmed dead on the scene at 5:40 a.m. The last of the firefighters cleared the scene at 6:39 a.m., turning it over to KFD investigators.

Deputy Chief Chris Hall said on the scene around 9 a.m. that the investigation is underway, adding at the time that he was waiting for daylight to go through the heavily damaged residence and piece together what happened.

KFD investigators did not return a phone call regarding updates on the cause of the fire, and the report lists the cause as undetermined.

The house was a total loss, said the report, with estimated damage reaching $82,000.

Cody Neuenschwander can be reached at 765-454-8570 or by email at cody@kokomotribune.com

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