Man Dies In Mysterious Sparks House Fire

Fatal Fire
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A man found dead in his burning home early Friday may have been the same man who was given a mental evaluation after he told police Thursday there was a rotting corpse in his condo, fire officials said.

It's not clear if the unidentified victim died in the fire or was dead when the fire broke out in the two-story condo on Garfield Drive early Friday, firefighters said.

No body had been found when police searched the condo Thursday evening.

The victim is believed to be the same man who showed up at the Crosswinds Assembly of God church Thursday afternoon and said he had a dead body in his home that was beginning to stink, the Daily Sparks Tribune reported in Friday's editions.

The man asked if there was a crematorium at the church, located at 2100 El Rancho Dr, church secretary Debby Lively said.

A church maintenance worker called Sparks police.

Police officers searched the man's condo at 2565 Garfield Drive at about 5 p.m. but did not find a body, Det. Chad Hawkins said.

Police decided the man should go to Washoe Medical Center for a mental evaluation, Hawkins told the newspaper. The man was released from the hospital at about midnight.

About 3 a.m. Friday, a neighbor called firefighters to report the man's condominium was engulfed in flames. After knocking down the fire, Sparks firefighters found a badly burned body inside.

"They'll probably have to (use) dental records," Sparks fire chief Tom Clewell said. He said the body was burned "very badly. The fire was pretty intense."

"He was downstairs, not too far from the front door," Clewell said.

The death remains under investigation.