UPDATED: Body found in rubble of home decimated by fire

Scene of a house fire on Red Cedar Circle, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 12, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — A fire destroyed a Cedar City home Sunday afternoon, and Monday morning Cedar City police released a statement that a man’s body was found in the rubble of the home.

Cedar City Police Sgt. Clint Pollock said officers received the initial call from dispatch Sunday at 4:47 p.m. involving a house fire on Red Cedar Circle.

Firefighters battle a house fire in Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 12, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Once they arrived on scene, within minutes, the home was fully engulfed,” he said.

Dozens of bystanders, some dressed in Sunday clothes, lined the streets and watched as firefighters directed streams of water onto the burning structure. Multiple fire engines responded, including Cedar City Fire Department’s ladder truck, which was used to attack the blaze from above.

When firefighters cut open the garage door for ventilation access, flames were seen shooting up again through the roof. Although the home’s exterior walls remained standing, the interior was gutted and the structure appeared to be a total loss.

When Pollock briefed news media at the scene at around 6:45 p.m., approximately two hours after the fire began, crews were still checking the structure for hot spots. Police tape was used to cordon off the scene as investigators prepared to check inside the building to find out if anyone was inside the home at the time of the fire.

“We’re not aware if anyone’s in there at this point or not,” Pollock said at that point. “Due to the flames, they (firefighters) were unable to enter.”

However, Monday morning Pollock released a statement saying that later Sunday night, while in the process of removing rubble, a male subject was found deceased inside the home. Investigators found evidence that suggests the male subject died from an apparent suicide, the statement said, adding that the body will be sent to the medical examiner’s office to determine the exact cause of death and identification.

Police later identified the deceased man as David Raymond Franz, 53, who was a resident of the home.

Pollock said the cause of the fire is not yet known, but the incident is under investigation.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Updated Aug. 13, 9 a.m. with statement from Cedar City Police Department.

Updated Aug. 21, 11 a.m. to include the name of the deceased man.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • Carpe Diem August 13, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Well, I don’t think he will be remembered fondly.

    • Bobby August 14, 2018 at 1:12 am

      let me tell you that he will be remembered more than fondly and for you to make such a comment goes beyond comprehension! please do not make comments like this unless you knew the person! He was an amazing man who helped everyone he knew without asking for anything in return! He leaves behind 2 children and 3 grandchildren with another one due in December who unfortunately will not know his wonderful grandfather!

  • Mild Winters August 13, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Before I write my comment: St. George News, enough of “I’m not a robot” -identify the squares with cars, street signs or sidewalks in them! You’re lucky to get 1-3 readers commenting at most… Please don’t make it a red tape fiasco to login.

    My profession of 38 years has caused me to witness the scene of hundreds of suicides, including my own father’s. He thought enough about those left behind that he chose to go to a shed away from our family home. The trauma and clean up were significantly lessened…
    If the person who’s body was found inside this destroyed home started the fire before dying by suicide, first and foremost, I’m truly sorry you were in so much pain! Only you and God knew the depth of despair and hopelessness you suffered in your mind that led you to what has happened…
    Like my father, persons who reach the point of no turning back regarding their decision to die by suicide, will hopefully think about those loved ones they leave behind… and ALL they’re dealing with, including the physical clean up, costs and added trauma. Along with a precious life gone, a beautiful home and belongings are lost too, adding significantly to this tragedy.

    • comments August 13, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Well, whatever device you’re using there’s usually an option to “say logged in” or similar. That way you won’t have to identify road signs and whatever else.

      Just curious, were you an insurance adjuster, LE, or work for the coroner’s office? This sort of stuff is pretty messed up. Always have to wonder what drives someone to do such things. Lighting the house on fire is like “the final act of vengeance” I guess. Makes you wonder if it was related to relationship issues, but we’ll prob never know.

    • Carpe Diem August 13, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      Would prefer disqus. The only way I can log on is through facebook login option, go figure.

      Anyways the SLtrib shadowbanned me. They are hard left as anyone who reads them knows, and any online debates turn into a torrent of ad hominem on me, any retaliation in kind caused a couple accounts to be banned. So on my third one in 20 years, they finally just shadow banned me, I could post but no one could see the posts. A lot like what Twitter is doing now to conservatives.

      As a side note, I never go there anymore, they have had to fire employees in waves (who I suspect were the same ones who were always posting morning, noon and night keeping the drivel running). Pat Bagley cartoons were the worst, I suspect Pat is Cic with the cat avatar. He doesnt take criticism well.

  • Mild Winters August 13, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    To: Comments, thanks for helping me to login easier. I retired from the mortuary profession.

    The Salt Lake Tribune is rather quickly going out of business. I for one, think it serves them right…

  • Striker4 August 14, 2018 at 12:15 am

    They should of taken a couple more pictures

  • Redbud August 14, 2018 at 4:37 am

    If it was suicide, setting the house on fire was ignorant on his part because the fire could have easily spread to other people’s homes and put their lives in imminent danger, especially children or the elderly who might have a more difficult time escaping. I’m sorry he decided to end his life, but it was not good to put other people at risk, including the firefighters and other first responders who have their own families who rely on them for support, and expect them to return home safe when off duty.

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