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Fried chicken may have sparked fatal Richmond fire, family says

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RICHMOND, Va. -- One man was found dead after an early morning apartment fire in South Richmond. Firefighters responded to a 911 call in the 500 block of Argyle Terrace, off Chippenham Parkway near German School Road, around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

When crews arrived at the apartment, they spotted smoke pouring from one of the units and evacuated neighbors. It took crews about 45 minutes to get the fire under control.

Firefighters later found the man's body inside the burning apartment. While fire officials said they could not formally identify the victim, one family member said the person who died was his 27-year-old nephew.

Firefighters believe the fire may have started in the apartment's kitchen.

"He had to go to work in the morning and he told his cousin he was going to fry some chicken, so I'm not exactly sure if that's the cause," the victim's uncle Johnnie Payne said.

Payne said the victim worked at Martin's and lived inside the unit with his girlfriend and  two children. The woman and children were not home when the fire started, Payne said.

The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy on the victim to determine the official cause of death. Foul play was not suspected.

"We've got to stay together, pull together and understand it's the Lord's will, as much as it hurts," Payne said.

Google Map for coordinates 37.513183 by -77.517325.

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