Early morning house fire claims life of man, identity now known

UPDATED The man who died in a Linwood Township house fire early Wednesday morning has now been identified as Thomas John Harris, 60, who lived alone in the two-bedroom home.

 The  Anoka County Medical Examiner’s Office said Harris died from smoke inhalation and his death has been ruled accidental.

Firefighters from Linwood Township and Stacy-Lent  found the body of a man in the ruins of a home in Linwood at 23840 Lyons St. that was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning.

At  9:25 a.m., the body of a deceased male was located in the remains of the home, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

The owner of the home is a 60-year-old man.

“We have no reason to believe the body is anybody other than the home’s occupant, but identification will not be made until it can be confirmed and next of kin notified,” Commander Paul Summer said Wednesday.  “The search of the remaining debris will continue until it can be determined that no other victims are present.”

Fire crews found the home fully engulfed in flames after receiving the call at 3:48 a.m. The home is on the border between Linwood and Lent Township in Chisago County.

The home was a total loss as a result of the fire and the entire structure eventually collapsed. The cause and origin of the fire is not yet known, but the incident is under investigation by the Linwood Fire Department, the Anoka County Fire Investigation Team and the state fire marshal, Sommer said.

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