Authorities ID man found dead inside burning home

Battle Creek house fire
Damage to a home in Battle Creek following a fire Monday night. (Aug. 23, 2016)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Police are trying to determine what led to the death of a man whose body was found in a burning Battle Creek home.

The fire was reported around 7:30 p.m. Monday at a home in the 200 block of E. Michigan Avenue near Elm Street.

When firefighters arrived, they found flames on the first and second floors of the home as well as the attic.

Battle Creek Fire Marshal Quincy Jones tells 24 Hour News 8 the man’s body was found in a first-floor living room in the two-story home around 9 p.m.

Authorities later identified the victim as 44-year-old Eric Edward Phillips. The BCFD Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating his cause of death. An autopsy is pending.

Jones said no one was living at the home, but it was under renovation. Fire officials say Phillips was a co-owner of the home and was working on it, but does not live there.

Investigators took an SUV in as evidence. It’s unclear if the vehicle belonged to the unidentified victim.

It’s unclear what sparked the fire and whether it’s considered suspicious.

A firefighter on scene also suffered a back injury while responding the fire.

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