Yesterday at 4:25 p.m. personnel from the Mesa Police Department and Mesa Fire and Medical Department were dispatched to 3547 E. Dragoon for a report of a structure fire. Upon arrival, officers found the residence to be fully involved with flames and smoke. Once the fire was extinguished, a 53-year-old male resident, Manuel Anthony Garcia, was found to be deceased in a back bedroom. MPD Homicide Units responded and began a joint investigation with Mesa Fire Department Arson Investigators.
The initial investigation revealed Garcia was in his back bedroom when witnesses inside reported hearing the smoke alarms sounding and detected the odor of smoke. The witness knocked on Garcia’s closed bedroom door, and noted the door was hot to the touch and the carpet was warm. As the bedroom door opened, it likely introduced oxygen to the flames, causing a fire flare-up. This flare up blew out a bedroom window and blew the door open. A witness reported seeing Garcia attempting to extinguish the flames with some kind of fire extinguisher. Garcia was not able to exit and ultimately succumbed to the fire.
At this time, the cause of the fire remains under investigation, however, foul play is not suspect.