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Elderly Man Found Dead Inside Burning Bay Point Home Died Hours Before Fire

BAY POINT (CBS SF) -- An elderly man found dead by firefighters inside a Bay Point home on Tuesday died from natural causes hours before a one-alarm fire broke out at the home, fire and coroner's officials said today.

James Campbell, 80, died due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a Contra Costa County coroner's deputy said.

Firefighters located Campbell's body inside a bedroom at his home on Mountain View Avenue near Willow Cove Elementary School around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Crews were responding to a small fire apparently caused by combustible materials on top of a floor furnace, according to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Capt. Robert Marshall.

"Its kind of an unusual situation where the fire is actually what allowed us to find someone had died from natural causes,"

Investigators believe Campbell died about 12 hours before he was found.

He was the sole resident of the home, and no injuries were reported in connection with the fire.

Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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