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Man's death ruled a homicide after Lloyd District structure fire

Portland police said that Jesse Ray Burns Jr., 56, died from smoke inhalation. The death is being investigated as a homicide.
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PORTLAND, Ore. — The death of a man whose body was found inside a burned structure in North Portland's Lloyd District late last month has now been ruled a homicide, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

Firefighters were sent to a structure fire at 900 North Thunderbird Way, near the old concrete grain elevator along the Willamette River, just after 6 p.m. on Nov. 27. After they put out the fire, they found a man's body inside.

PPB's homicide unit responded to the scene, but police initially called it a suspicious death investigation.

According to a Monday update from police, the victim was identified as 56-year-old Jesse Ray Burns Jr. An autopsy determined that Burns had died of smoke inhalation, confirmed to be a homicide.

Credit: Portland Police Bureau

Police have not released any further details about how the fire started, which presumably would explain why the case is being investigated as a homicide and not as an accident.

Anyone with information about this incident who has not spoken with police is asked to contact Detective Jeff Pontius at jeffery.pontius@police.portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0433 or Detective Steve Gandy at stephen.gandy@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0449.

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