CAHOKIA, Ill. (AP) — Exploding ammunition stymied southern Illinois firefighters in their efforts to rescue a World War II veteran who died in a house fire.

Authorities say 89-year-old Howard Sutton was killed when a fire swept through his Cahokia home early Wednesday.

Cahokia Fire Chief Stephen Robbins says the house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. They entered to rescue Sutton, but were forced from the home by exploding ammunition.

Robbins says firefighters recovered Sutton's body once the fire was under control 20 minutes later despite the igniting rounds. No firefighter was hurt.

Sutton's daughter, Peggy Corey of Maryland Heights, said Sutton was stationed in the South Pacific with the U.S. Navy during World War II.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal spokesman Leslie Strain says the agency is trying to determine the cause of the fire.