SOUTH GLENS FALLS — A man found dead Saturday after a fire in his motel room died of smoke inhalation, and fire investigators are trying to determine how the blaze started.
The 71-year-old man was found unconscious in a first-floor room at Clearview Motel around 8:30 a.m. Saturday, after a neighbor smelled smoke.
His name has not been released, pending notification of family members. South Glens Falls Police Chief Kevin Judd said police have not been able to locate any relatives to notify of his death.
The man is believed to be a native of Fort Edward and a military veteran who was getting medical care through the U.S. Veterans Administration hospital in Albany.
Judd said police and South Glens Falls firefighters were called to the motel by a man who had been staying in a neighboring room, smelled smoke and then used a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire.
Judd said the room had filled with smoke, and an autopsy performed Sunday at Albany Medical Center led to the determination that smoke inhalation caused the room resident’s death. He had medical issues before his death, the chief explained.
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Saratoga County fire investigators are investigating the cause of the fire, but Judd said it does not appear suspicious.
Helen Tiu, manager of the motel, said the man had lived there for about four years and had breathing problems that he described as COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
She said she did not know him to smoke, though.
“I saw him out Friday, he seemed fine,” she said. “He was a nice guy, kept to himself.”
The motel room sustained minor damage.