Baton Rouge man’s body discovered in backyard shed destroyed by fire _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Baton Rouge firefighters responded to a fire that had engulfed a shed behind a home at 5181 Madison Avenue, early Friday morning. The fire was quickly extinguished and contained to the shed, however, upon extinguishing the blaze, firefighters discovered a deceased male inside, later identified as Earl Howard, 61. The fire remains under investigation.

A man’s body was found in a backyard shed during an investigation into a fire Friday morning in Baton Rouge that destroyed the structure, a fire official said.

East Baton Rouge Parish coroner Dr. William “Beau” Clark said the victim is presumed to be Earl Howard, 61. The man’s identity is being confirmed through dental records, with a final determination expected to come Monday, Clark said.

Clark said the man died “of acute carbon monoxide toxicity with inhalation of products of combustion” due to the fire.

Baton Rouge Fire crews responded at 1:40 a.m. to 5181 Madison Ave., where a shed behind the main house was burning, said department spokesman Mark Miles. The fire was extinguished quickly but the structure was declared a total loss, Miles said.

Investigators noticed the man’s body after the fire was stamped out, Miles said.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, Miles said. Anyone with information about the house fire is asked to contact Baton Rouge Fire Department Arson Investigators at (225) 225-354-1419 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-STOP.