The Washington Post

Officials ID man who died after escaping fire

Fire officials have identified the man who died shortly after he escaped his burning home in Lewisdale Sunday as 65-year-old Joseph Hoffman, authorities said Tuesday.

Investigators are still probing how Hoffman died and precisely what sparked the blaze in the basement of his home in the 6600 block of 24th Place, said Mark Brady, a Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department spokesman.

Investigators do not believe the fire to be suspicious, Brady said.

Fire officials said Hoffman and his wife escaped their burning home and were in the front yard when firefighters arrived just after 10 p.m. Hoffman was conscious and talking, though he was having trouble breathing and complaining of chest pains, fire officials said.

Fire officials quickly extinguished the fire, but Hoffman “suddenly suffered cardiac arrest,” authorities said.

He was pronounced dead a short time after his arrival at the hospital, according to authorities.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.

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