Howard Sutton, 89, died in his home Wednesday morning after it caught fire at St. Marcella Drive in Cahokia.
Crews arrived around 1:30 a.m. to find the fire burning throughout the house, including the roof.
“It was dispatched to Cahokia and they arrived pretty quickly,” said Herb Simmons, St. Clair Emergency Management Agency director.
As crews tried to enter the structure to fight the fire, they quickly encountered an obstacle.
“We tried to make an interior attack, but we had to back off due to ammunition going off in the house,” Cahokia Fire Chief Stephen Robbins said.
The chief said there was a “decent” amount of ammunition in the house — he noted that meant at least a few boxes.
Robbins said Sutton was found inside the house after the fire was under control.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal was investigating the cause of the fire because of Sutton’s death, according to Robbins.
Leslie Strain, spokeswoman for the state fire agency, said investigators were not releasing information Wednesday morning.