BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - UPDATE March 18: The victim of the fire has been identified by police. According to Scott Adams with Blytheville police, the man is Jessie Allen, 63, of Osceola.
The Blytheville Police and Fire Departments are investigating a house fire in which a man was found dead in the living room late Tuesday night.
According to a news release from the Blytheville Fire Department, firefighters responded to 618 Beale Street. When they arrived, they found light smoke coming from the structure. When they forced their way into the front door, they discovered a fire in the living room along with heavy smoke.
The "fire was quickly extinguished."
When firefighters searched the home, they found a man lying face down behind a door. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
During the investigation, fire marshals "found that a liquid accelerant was poured throughout various rooms of the structure." Investigators also found a screwdriver and pry bar near the back door, which appeared to have been pried open.
"There were no active utilities at the residence," the news release stated. "Information was obtained by a said family member of the homeowner stating that she was overseeing the residence and also stated that the house had been unoccupied and secured for the last few months. (The) family member also stated that she checked on the residence daily. She also confirmed that she had checked on and entered the residence earlier the morning of the fire."
The Blytheville Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire while police conduct the death investigation, Fire Chief Mike Carney told Region 8 News.
The man's body has been taken to that Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for autopsy.
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