Third body found in rubble after Southside fire

Third body found in rubble after Southside fire

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The scene of the fire on Tuesday morning. (Photo: Wil Raines) The scene of the fire on Tuesday morning. (Photo: Wil Raines)
Crews work to remove the two bodies found inside a building that caught on fire and burned to the ground. Source: Melanie Posey Crews work to remove the two bodies found inside a building that caught on fire and burned to the ground. Source: Melanie Posey
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Multiple sources say a third body has been discovered in the rubble of a building that burned down on Monday night. It was found after noon Tuesday.

Two other bodies were found by crews around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday morning. Both of those bodies were located near a chimney that was still standing among the rubble.

The bodies were found to all be males. Before the third body was found, Chief Mardis said initial reports led them to believe those victims were a man and a woman. The chief says they will let the coroner make the final determination on the sex of the victims.

The coroner's office says it may be able to identify the fire victims as soon as Wednesday. However, because the victims are believed to be homeless, it may make identification more difficult.

Previously, Mardis said it appeared that three homeless people were inside the house when the fire broke out. One man escaped, and tried to go back to save the others inside. He suffered first and second degree burns to his hands and forehead and was treated for smoke inhalation at UAB, Mardis said. That person remains hospitalized Tuesday evening.

Chief Mardis explained that the fire was so large because it was an old building, and the wood was much thicker than what is used in construction today. Community members told FOX6 News that the building was once a doctor's office.

Police say the structure was an abandoned house know to them as a place where the homeless would take shelter, but fire officials haven't confirmed this detail. Birmingham Mayor William Bell told Fox6 News reporter Christy Hutchings Monday evening that the structure was actually on the city's list to be reviewed for possible condemnation.

The fire did damage UAB's community care building next door, which was closed Tuesday. UAB officials say the building will re-open Wednesday.

There is still no official word on what caused the fire. Chief Mardis said one possibility is that the homeless people made a fire to stay warm. He said the building was boarded up, so technically those inside it were trespassing.

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