Unusual death reported after Jasper County grass fire

Unusual death reported after Jasper County grass fire

JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Jasper County is no stranger to fires. So when a grass fire broke out on a property on County Road 296 Monday afternoon, it wasn't unusual that Jasper police responded to the emergency call to help put it out.

"When I arrived, Captain Jack Armstrong asked if i could check the neighboring properties to see if i could see how far the fire had spread before it hit possible other structures," said Jasper Police Officer Lawson Dry.

Instead of just finding damaged property and burnt land, Dry came across an even more shocking discovery -- a body.

"I started walking the property line and into the woods and approximately ten to fifteen feet into the wood line, I observed an elderly white male that had obviously been deceased for quite a while," said Dry.

The man was identified as 81-year-old James Clark.

According to Dry, what was so startling about Clark's body was that there were no signs of burns or fire related injuries. In fact, due to the state of the body, Jasper officials think Clark died from natural causes.

"He had work gloves on, he had a rake with him," said Dry. "It looked like he was trying to contain the fire himself and maybe over-exerted himself and had a heart attack."

A Jasper County justice of the peace has ordered an autopsy to be performed. The cause of Clark's death will not be ruled official until the results come in.

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