June 22 – Investigators investigating Tuesday morning’s fire in West Odessa have determined that the man who died in the blaze was attempting suicide, Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis said.
The sheriff’s office received a 911 call around 5:30 a.m. about an RV fire in the 4300 block of Flamingo and while Odessa fire rescue crews were putting out the fire, they discovered a deceased man in his 40s inside RV. A second man was taken to hospital with smoke inhalation and was treated and released, Griffis said.
When sheriff’s office investigators and state firefighters questioned the second man, they learned that he was staying in the RV in the backyard of his parents’ house and had invited the man deceased to stay with him.
The man told investigators the other man was suicidal and started several small fires inside the RV using a handheld torch, Griffis said. The survivor tried to put out the fires with a fire extinguisher, but ultimately couldn’t fight them all and was forced to evacuate, he said.
Investigators were able to corroborate the man’s story and recovered the fire extinguisher, Griffis said.
The identity of the deceased man is still pending autopsy, the sheriff said.