KC police wait on official report, but believe man found in fire died of self-inflicted gun wound

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City police are waiting on an official report from the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office, but they believe a man found in a fire died of a self-inflicted gun wound.

The fire happened Wednesday near east 70th Street and Corrington Avenue.

Firefighters rushed to the burning house on Strupwood Court just before 7 a.m.

While battling the flames, rescue workers found the body of an elderly man inside the house. Police reported he had been shot to death.

A police bomb and arson experts joined fire investigators in seeking answers.

"We have our investigators here," said Battalion Chief James Garrett of the Kansas City Fire Department. "We will get to the bottom of where this fire started and how things took place."

Police said it's possible the man may have suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officers have not commented on whether he shot himself because he couldn't escape from the fire or if he had planned suicide.

Neighbors described the man as retired, having lived in the home for more than 30 years. They said he may have worked as a law enforcement officer or security officer for Kansas City Public Schools.

Although it may not have made a difference in this case, firefighters said for the second time in a week, there were no working smoke detectors in this house.

The city recently received a supply of 3,000 home alarms that are free for any Kansas Citian who needs one.

One person is dead Wednesday following a house fire near 71st and Strupwood Court.