AUTOPSY: WW2 Vet Died From Medical Complications Before Fire

By: Dan Yesenosky
By: Dan Yesenosky
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A preliminary autopsy says a World War II veteran died of medical complications before a brush fire he was tending got out of control.

Beaufort County deputies say Richard Balzer had been working in his yard on Dan Taylor Road earlier in the day on Wednesday and was burning debris on his property. His body was found by firefighters who were called to put out the brush fire.

The family says the 88-year-old man had a long history of cardiovascular problems, including bypass surgery in the 1980s.

Deputies say foul play is not suspected.


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Family members believe a World War II aviator's body, found after a brush fire was extinguished Wednesday night, may have had a medical problem.

Firefighters discovered the body along Dan Taylor Road in Beaufort County.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office says it's believed Richard Balzer started the burn which grew out of control.

The family says the 88-year-old man had a long history of cardiovascular problems, including bypass surgery in the 1980s.

Balzer's daughter thinks he had a heart attack and died before he was burned.

The sheriff's office is investigating the exact cause of death.

The Old Ford and Clark's Neck Fire Departments responded.
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Multiple agencies are on the scene of a grass fire that got out of control in Beaufort County. One person was found dead on arrival.

Beaufort County Emergency Management Director John Pack confirmed the death and said there were multiple vehicle accidents in the area.

The fire is in the area of Dan Taylor Road outside of Washington.

WITN has a reporter heading to the scene now. Updates will be posted as they become available.


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