An elderly man was found dead after fire crews responded Sunday morning to a house fire in east Wichita.
The fire was reported at about 8:45 a.m. in the 1500 block of North Erie, near 13th and Hillside. The body of a man in his 80s was recovered, according to Capt. Stu Bevis of the Wichita Fire Department.
“When crews were arriving on the scene, smoke could be seen from several blocks away,” Bevis said. “They had a heavy fire in the front of the house.”
In the yard at the house, firefighters encountered a man in his 50s who told fire crews his father was still inside the house.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, Bevis said, pending the outcome of initial autopsy results, which are expected Monday.
The loss to the structure has been estimated at $60,000, with an additional $20,000 in damages to contents.
With Sunday’s death, Wichita has recorded 11 fire deaths this year. The most recent deadly fire was Nov. 26, which killed four people in a home near Central and Webb.
In 2012, Wichita had five fire deaths; 19 were recorded in 1979, the largest number in a single year, according to city fire officials.