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Firefighters attempting rescue find person had already died

March 13, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say firefighters who entered a smoke-filled Des Moines house to rescue an occupant found the person already had died.

Police officers were the first to arrive at the house Monday afternoon. They were told someone was still in a back bedroom, so they employed a garden hose in an effort to extinguish the blaze. The heavy smoke kept them from entering the home, which firefighters did when they arrived around 2:30 p.m.

Fire Lt. Rick Thomas says they found the person was already dead. He’s been identified as the homeowner, Emmitt Johnson. An autopsy has been ordered.

The fire cause is being investigated. Thomas says it started in the bedroom.

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