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Ormond Beach Fla--Firefighters Extinguish House Fire--Find Body

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  • captstanm1
    Victim Identified

    News-Journal online

    Victim in house fire ID'd as transient

    Last update: 06 June 2003

    ORMOND BEACH -- A body discovered in a house fire on Tomoka Avenue earlier this week has been identified as that of a 49-year-old transient, police said Thursday.

    Firefighters responding to the blaze at 421 Tomoka Ave. found James Lewis Harben's body shortly after 7 p.m. Monday, police Sgt. Kenny Hayes said. Nothing indicates the death was suspicious, Hayes said.

    Harben's description was obtained from interviews with business owners in the area who had seen him. Police said they also had made contact with Harben in the area shortly before the fire. Fingerprints obtained at his autopsy matched those in an arrest file, Hayes said.

    Police do not know how or why Harben entered the house, Hayes said.

    The State Fire Marshal's Office said a preliminary investigation indicated the fire was accidental, but the cause remains under investigation, Hayes said.

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  • Ormond Beach Fla--Firefighters Extinguish House Fire--Find Body

    Firefighters find man’s body in house

    Staff Report

    Last update: 02 June 2003

    ORMOND BEACH -- A man was found dead in a small house that caught fire Monday night, fire officials said.

    The body of the unidentified man -- who was not the homeowner, police said -- was found on the floor of the burning one-story house at 621 Tomoka Ave. when firefighters arrived at 7 p.m.

    Police and state fire investigators worked into the evening to determine what caused the fire and how the man died.

    The house, which sits beside a small pond, was crossed with crime scene tape. A "Beware of Dog" sign had been tacked on a stockade fence, beside an aging pickup.

    Fire department spokeswoman Justine Ascone said the man they found may have been dead before the fire started.

    It is believed that the fire started in the front area of the house, near where the man's body was found.

    Police did not release the dead man's identity. Ormond Beach Police Sgt. Kenny Hayes said they were waiting for a state fire marshal to determine the cause of the fire.

    Police said they would also await the cause of death from the medical examiner. "We don't know that it's suspicious or not," Hayes said.

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