JFD Investigates Fire That Killed Local Man

JONESBORO, AR -- A Jonesboro man is dead tonight after a fire on North Bridge Street.   The victim is identified as 49-year-old William Leon Johnson.  Authorities say Johnson has been staying in several abandoned homes in Jonesboro over the past couple of months.  Little is known about him, but investigators were able to find an identification card listing his address as 309 West Allen in Jonesboro.

The home where Johnson was found is owned by Charles "Chuck" McLain.  His friends say the house was condemned and McLain moved his property out about 2 weeks ago.  He moved in with a friend, and not long after, that house burned, too.  Neighbors also told K-8 News that McLain had walked into the house on Bridge Street about 2 weeks ago, and found the back porch smoldering.  McLain told his friend he was able to put that fire out by himself.  He also said the City had told him he would have to pay about $3,000.00 to have them demolish the North Bridge Street house and clean up the property.

So far, there's been no official ruling on the cause of the fire.  Craighead County Coroner, Toby Emerson says the victim died inside the house as a result of smoke inhalation...no foul play is suspected.