A Horseshoe Bend man was found dead in his home Feb. 14 from smoke inhalation caused by a fire that started when a propane tank exploded, according to authorities.
Izard County coroner Eddie Howard pronounced Donald Ham of 1301 Ridge Circle dead at the scene. Boles said the crime lab determined Ham died of smoke inhalation.
Ham's body was discovered when his employer went to his home to check on him after he did not show up to work that day. Dan Therrien of Horseshoe Bend, who lives close to the scene, alerted police.
Lt. Carl Boles and officer James Davis responded to the scene.
Authorities said Ham had apparently been working on a small propane tank inside his residence when it exploded. Boles said Ham had probably been heating his trailer with the propane tank.
Boles said Ham was seen alive on Feb. 11. While none of his neighbors said they heard an explosion, one of them did say he had heard something that sounded like a shotgun blast, but did not recall the night he heard it, authorities said.
Officers said it appeared Ham had attempted to get out through the front door after the explosion. Boles said there was no damage to the outside of the trailer, though a few windows were broken. Boles said the inside of the house had smoke damage, with the television melting and some furniture being burned.
Sheriff Tate Lawrence and Investigator Humphrey from the Izard County Sheriff's Office assisted Horseshoe Bend Police Chief Fred Mitchell and other Horseshoe Bend officers in the investigation.