One dead in storage facility fire

("Afraid of a little forest fire?" by Staci Lichterman, CC BY 2.0)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A man is dead after his body was found inside a storage unit that caught fire and collapsed yesterday evening.

The Fort Wayne Fire Department was called to BTE Storage on Broadway at about 5pm to find fire and smoke coming from the multi-unit storage facility. The man was a customer who ended up trapped after the facility’s roof collapsed.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office has identified the man as Richard David Walls, 81 of Fort Wayne. His cause of death was smoke inhalation, and his manner of death was ruled an accident.

Fire crews say people had been living in those storage units illegally, although the official cause is still under investigation.

One other person at the scene suffered burns to the arm. It took about 90 minutes to get the fire under control.

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