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Photos by Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Burned debris, apparently from the kitchen, was thrown outside the window of the house at 2216 Reynolds St.

1 dead in early morning house fire

The house at is boarded up after an early morning house fire.
A charred kettle and other burned debris sit outside the house.

FORT WAYNE -- A Fort Wayne man died early Monday in a house fire on the city's southeast side, the Allen County coroner's office said today.

Joshua Scott Ohmart, 29, accidentally died from asphyxia because of smoke inhalation, the coroner's office ruled.

Two cats also died in the blaze, the Fort Wayne Fire Department said in a statement.

Firefighters said an off-duty firefighter reported smelling smoke in the area along Wayne Trace and New Haven Avenue about 5:45 a.m.

They said they canvassed the area and identified smoke coming from the roof eves of a home at 2216 Reynolds St.

After requesting additional crews, firefighters said they forced entry into the home and began fighting a kitchen fire, while other firefighters searched the house and located a victim in a rear bedroom.

The victim was pulled to safety, where medics took over patient care, but he was declared dead at the scene, firefighters said.

They said the fire was extinguished within 21 minutes. The cause remains under investigation.

Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, Fort Wayne police, Northern Indiana Public Service Co., American Electric Power, the coroner's office and Fort Wayne Animal Control also assisted, firefighters said.