Victim of fatal blaze I.D.’d


Investigators have used DNA to determine the identification of a man who died in an early morning house fire Feb. 27 in the Freetown area.

William N. Hintzen, 77, of Freetown, was identified after police collected DNA from him and a brother, Martin H. Hintzen, for comparison at a lab, said Detective Bob Lucas with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Voss & Sons Funeral Service in Seymour.

Lucas, a crime scene investigator, earlier said police do not suspect foul play in the death of the man now identified as Hintzen

His body was found inside his home in the 7100 block of North County Road 765W after the fire was put out by Pershing Township firefighters and units from Brownstown and Owen-Salt Creek fire departments.

He lived by himself and had no family with the exception of the brother who lives in Texas and gave police the DNA sample, Lucas said.

He said the Indiana Fire Marshal’s Office is ruling the cause of the fire undetermined because of the extent of damage the fire and heat caused. Pershing Township investigators helped with that investigation.

An autopsy was later conducted at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour by Dr. George Weir, a pathologist. Jackson County Coroner Roger Wheeler and county Officer Jeff Walters were involved with that part of the investigation.

Lucas said Weir is expected to rule that Hintzen likely died of a combination of smoke inhalation and thermal burns.

County Reserve Officer Kevin Settle, Brownstown Reserve Officer Blake McCrary and county Officer Mark Holt were the first to respond to the fire about 4:25 a.m. Feb. 27.

Upon arrival, they reported the house was engulfed and part of it had collapsed.

State Fire Marshal Clayton T. Kinder was called to the scene and was joined by Lucas, a crime scene investigator, Wheeler, Sheriff Michael Carothers and county Officer Rob Henley.

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