Maintenance man dies in repair shop fire

HOUSTON - Houston firefighters found the body of a maintenance worker after a blaze in a southeast Houston maintenance shop.

Fire crews were sent to the shop at 7698 Almeda Genoa Road and Telephone Road shortly after 4 a.m. Monday and discovered a shipping container on fire. Tires were fueling the flames.

"A caller stated they heard an explosion. that is what's recorded on our 911 tapes, and we showed up and found a shipping container on fire," said Capt. Ruy Lozano with the Houston Fire Department.

Crews searched the container and then worked to fight the fire. Officials said it was not until a second check of the container that they found a dead body.

Deputy Chief Fernando Herrera of the Houston Fire Department said the victim was a maintenance man who worked inside the shipping container, which was turned into a maintenance shop.

Herrera said the victim was also living in the shipping container. Officials said he called his brother about 30 minutes before the fire started.

Arson investigators said it could be weeks before they know the exact cause of the blaze. Foul play is not suspected.

"The walls of the shipping container are pretty much gone, so there was a lot of heat so that's why it took a lot to combat the fire and now arson investigators are investigating," Lozano said.

The victim's name was not released. Friends said his first name was Pedro, he was in his 50s and from El Salvador.

"It's sad because he's a real nice guy and I knew the guy who trained him to do the work," said Delbert Moore, the victim's friend.

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