Smoke inhalation is cause of death in Austin Thanksgiving fire

Published 2:54 pm Saturday, November 28, 2015

AUSTIN — The victim in a Thanksgiving morning fire died from smoke inhalation.

Austin Fire Chief Jim McCoy confirmed Jorge Abeyta, 43, died in the Thursday morning garage fire, though an investigation is ongoing and the cause of the fire is still unknown.

The Austin Fire Department responded to the fire on the 1900 block of Oakland Avenue East around 8:50 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and arrived after people living in the house had pulled Abeyta out of the garage, according to McCoy. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Damage from the fire was estimated at $11,000. While there weren’t many flames from the fire, McCoy said there was good amount of smoke as a couch and chair had burned.

“It wasn’t a real big fire, it was more of a smoldering fire,” McCoy told the Minneapolis Star Tribune Thursday. “Those types of materials tend to produce a lot of smoke just based on what they are.”

McCoy said the investigation is ongoing with the state fire marshal’s office.

—The Tribune Content Agency contributed.