Fatal Kansas house fire under investigation

Salina Post – April 23, 2015

The State Fire Marshal’s office and KBI are investigating a fatal fire in Hoisington. According to Hoisington Police, fire crews responded to a fire at a residence at 522 East 5th just after 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Fire crews discovered the body of a male victim in the living room according to police. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Name of the victim will not be released until a positive identification has been made according to the State Fire Marshal’s office.

Cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Hoisington police have identified the man who died in a house fire Wednesday evening, which was determined as suspicious in nature.

Hoisington Chief Kenton Doze said Leroy Schartz, 62, was found dead in a room when firefighters and officers arrived to the home. Kevin Doel in the Office of the State Fire Marshal said Schartz was found in the living room.

An autopsy has been scheduled today for Schartz.

Officers and the Hoisington Fire Department received a call about a burning home and responded to 522 E. Fifth Ave. where the residence was completely engulfed in flames, Doze said. Schatz was taken out the home and Doze said there was no other person or pet inside.

However, Doze said items inside the home led police to rule the fire as suspicious.

“There were some items in there that wouldn’t normally be there that could’ve started the fire,” Doze said. “Those items seen in the home made it suspicious.”

Doze said he couldn’t go into details about the items or how Schatz died because the fire is still under investigation. The Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation were called in the help investigate the suspicious fire.

Doze said the home is still standing, but it was badly damaged on the inside. There is currently no estimate on the amount of damage, but Doze said, “it was pretty severe.”

Officers were at the residence for approximately 10 hours and the fire department were at the home for about two to three hours, according to an officer at the Hoisington Police Department.

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