published Friday, September 2nd, 2011

BP gas station fire in Cleveland, Tenn., ruled arson

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    Cleveland authorities investigate a fatal fire Tuesday at a BP gas station near Paul Huff Parkway and Interstate 75 in Cleveland, Tenn. Staff Photo by Beth Burger

Police believe the fire that burned down a BP gas station in Cleveland was started by the man who was later found dead inside.

On Tuesday, Cleveland firefighters found the body of Randy Hammontree, a BP employee, inside the gas station after the flames were extinguished.

Arson investigators ruled the fire began in the center of the gas station store and Hammontree made no attempt to escape the blaze, said police spokeswoman Officer Evie West in a news release.

No one else was on the scene and officers believe Hammontree intentionally started the fire, she said.

Hammontree’s autopsy report shows he died from smoke inhalation, West said.

The toxicology report from the autopsy is still pending.

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