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LR house fire kills man

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published December 13, 2012 at 6:40 a.m. Updated December 13, 2012 at 10:45 a.m.

firefighters-work-at-8715-verbena-drive-where-a-blaze-significantly-damaged-the-home

Firefighters work at 8715 Verbena Drive, where a blaze significantly damaged the home.

One killed in LR house fire

One person died Thursday in a fire that started at a home in southwest Little Rock. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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— One man has died in a Thursday morning fire at a house in southwest Little Rock.

Little Rock Fire Department Capt. Jason Weaver said the 31-year-old man died after smoke and flames turned his upstairs bedroom into a "non-survivable atmosphere" that crews had to battle from outside.

Weaver said the man's aunt and uncle were sleeping in a downstairs bedroom of the home at 8715 Verbena Drive when they awakened to the smell of smoke and the sound of a crackling fire.

The couple had to break a window to escape, Weaver said, adding that they then opened the front door and began calling to their 18-year-old son and 31-year-old nephew, who slept upstairs.

The teen awakened and jumped out a window, but the 31-year-old did not escape, Weaver said.

"It looks like he was overcome by smoke and fire," Weaver said, noting crews tried to reach the upstairs but found the fire "too intense."

Authorities did not release the name of the 31-year-old or the other three family members.

The 18-year-old was taken to UAMS Medical Center for treatment of a laceration and back pain suffered in his second-story jump and difficulty breathing caused by the smoke. His father was also taken to the hospital as a precaution because he also reported some difficulty breathing, Weaver said.

The blaze was reported to the fire department about 5:30 a.m. by multiple neighbors who saw the flames.

"So it was a well-established fire before we were even called," Weaver said by phone from the scene early Thursday. "It looks like the house is going to be a total loss."

The cause remains under investigation.

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MYBUDDYTMIL says... December 13, 2012 at 8:13 a.m.

Probably another made in China space heater.

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