An 84-year-old Washington Park man lost his life in a fire at his home in the 1400 block of Kingshighway shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday.
Washington Park Detective James Mister said Howard Brown was in front of his house in the 1400 block of Kingshighway washing his car when something exploded inside the vehicle. Brown then tried to put out the car fire with a hose, and the process, his house caught on fire, Mister said.
“He allegedly ran back into his house. Firefighters tried to stop him, but couldn’t. Once inside, he either fell against the door or barricaded himself inside. Firefighters were unable to get the door open,” Mister said.
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When they did get inside the house, they found Brown’s body with over 50 percent of it burned. He was taken to St John Mercy Hospital in St. Louis County, where he was pronounced dead, Mister said.
The death is being investigated as suspicious, Mister said. An investigation into Brown’s death is being conducted by Mister and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office.