Montrose man, 86, dies from burns in house fire

An elderly Montrose man who was severely burned in a fire at his home Sunday died early Monday morning, authorities said.

Montrose County Coroner Thomas Canfield said 86-year-old Richard Swyhart died in a burn unit at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver.

Coroner’s officials confirmed Swyhart died of burns he suffered in the fire and ruled his death an accident.

Montrose Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Mike Schell said Swyhart sustained burns over 30 percent to 40 percent of his body in the fire, which broke out Sunday afternoon at 807 S. 11th St. while Swyhart was smoking and using oxygen at the same time.

His younger brother told firefighters he had left the house to get something to eat, found smoke when he returned and attempted to save his brother by pulling him out of the house. The house was destroyed.


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