Firefighters investigating house fire in Springfield find body inside

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Firefighters in Springfield say they found a victim in what they thought was a vacant house that caught fire early Thursday morning.

Firefighters responded to the fire at 1025 West Monroe Terrace shortly after midnight. They found the home fully involved. The fire had collapsed the home.

When firefighters got to the scene they believed the home was empty.

"We did search [and were] unable to find anyone inside and the fire marshal is on scene conducting an investigation," said Battalion Chief Eric Latimer at the scene.

Neighbor Jen Dunbar said the house had been condemned and had no water or electricity. She said even though no one technically lived there, the home was rarely empty.

"I've just seen a lot of people going in and out of the house," she said.

Dunbar said squatters have made themselves at home.

"Yes, 100% I don't think that they are here legally," she said.

As firefighters investigated a cause, they found a victim dead. The cause remains undetermined.

The Greene County Medical Examiner is working with the investigating fire marshal and the Springfield Police Department to identify the victim.

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