Body found in Doetinchem house fire; police seek witnesses

A Dutch Firetruck in action on the heathland near Ede P.J.L Laurens/Wikimedia Commons

A person was found dead in a fire in a semi-detached house on Papaverstraat in Doetinchem during the early hours of Sunday morning. By Sunday evening the police were still trying to identify the victim. The victim is not the resident of the house, he was not home during the fire. The police call on witnesses to come forward.

Emergency services responded to the home around midnight. The search for potential victims was hampered - around 1:00 a.m. firefighters finished searching the ground floor, but then had to leave the building due to a smell of gas. Shortly thereafter, it became clear that someone was in the house, according to newspaper AD. But firefighters could only re-enter the building after grid manager Liander determined where the gas smell was coming from. The victim could not be saved. 

Bystanders told Omroep Gelderland that they heard several explosions from within the house. The police confirmed this to AD. 

The fire was under control around 2:15 a.m. The house was completely destroyed. Several neighboring homes were evacuated during the fire. The fire department also kept the adjacent house wet to prevent the fire from spreading. The adjacent house sustained some water damage.

A forensic team performed an investigation inside the home. As the cause of the fire and the victim's death is unclear, this investigation was done slowly and carefully, the police said in a statement. 

Investigators are calling on witnesses to come forward.