Waco police and fire officials are investigating the death of a man whose body was found Friday morning after a fire at his apartment in the Brazos Park Apartments complex, 1800 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Waco police spokesman Steve Anderson identified the man as Shane Horrell, 26, a former computer maintenance student at Texas State Technical College. Horrell’s body was found on the floor in the front room of his apartment.
Firefighters were called to the complex about 5:35 a.m. and quickly extinguished the blaze, which originated in the kitchen area, Anderson said. Firefighters also found the body of Horrell’s dog in the apartment, Anderson said.
A security guard, who lives in the building across the parking lot from Horrell’s apartment, said he couldn’t sleep after he got home from work and went to Horrell’s building after he and a neighbor smelled smoke.
He said he asked a woman in the parking lot who also was investigating the smoke to call 911, while he and another neighbor went to Horrell’s building to see if they could find a fire.
The guard, who asked not to be identified, said he felt doors on his way up the stairs to see if they were hot. When they reached Horrell’s third-floor apartment, he said he could hear a smoke alarm sounding and it was clear the smoke smell was coming from inside, he said.
The other man with him tried the door and it was unlocked. As the door opened, a torrent of smoke billowed from the apartment, he said.
The guard said he tried to crawl into the doorway to search for an occupant but was driven back by the smoke and heat. He shined a flashlight into the apartment and the man with him saw Horrell lying on the floor, he said.
The man reached in, grabbed Horrell by the leg and the men dragged him from the apartment onto the narrow entryway, the guard said.
After firefighters arrived, they carried Horrell downstairs, where he was taken to a hospital.
The security guard said he tried to find a pulse in Horrell’s neck but could not detect one.
Terry Freeman, who lives in the apartment directly beneath Horrell’s, said he did not know Horrell but said the man moved in about a month ago. He said Horrell only got the dog, which he described as a “large, Great Dane-looking mix,” in the past day or so.
Horrell’s body was sent to Dallas for autopsy after he was pronounced dead by McLennan County Justice of the Peace W.H. “Pete” Peterson.
Police suspect no foul play at this time in his death or in the origin of the fire, but will continue to investigate, Anderson said.