Likely cause determined for fatal fire in vacant Tacoma building

Tea light candles are the most likely cause of a fire that left a man dead on Tuesday night, said Tacoma Fire spokesman Joe Meinecke.

Investigators found remnants of the small candles in the basement of a vacant building near the intersection of 19th Street and Tacoma Avenue, Meinecke said.

Firefighters responded to the fire at about 10 p.m. Tuesday and found “heavy pressurized smoke and flames coming from the structure,” Meinecke said. The commercial structure sustained significant damage and when firefighters searched the scene they found the body of a man in his 40s. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was declared dead at the scene.

People have previously broken into the structure to sleep. The Tacoma Police Department is investigating. The man’s identity and cause of death have not yet been released.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.