Austin firefighters discover a man's body in large boat fire

Aside from rain and thunder, homeowners awoke to investigators gathering evidence from a boat parked in someone's driveway Thursday morning. Lt. Randy Elmore said a neighbor called 911 to a large boat fire on east 56th street. However, that's not all firefighters found.

"The strange part was when fire crews were making sure the fire was out that's when they found one deceased person," Elmore said. “We are still at the very beginning of the investigation and we are just trying to figure it out."

The case was turned over to arson investigators assisted by the Austin Police Department. The small neighborhood was blocked off for about six-hours while officials accessed the boat. The neighbors were alarmed to see the yellow crime scene tape and heavy police presence in the area. David Hewitt has lived in the neighborhood for more than ten years and describes it as relatively quiet.

"I’ve seen the house where it's in front of and it's a pretty quiet house,” Hewitt said. “It's a relatively safe and quiet neighborhood and how that happened and why it happened I don't know."

The identity of the man found inside the boat is unknown. The homeowner said he has no idea who the victim is. The boat belongs to his roommate who is out of town for the holidays. 

Investigators towed away the boat for evidence attempting to determine the origin and cause of the fire. While the medical examiner conducts an autopsy to determine the cause of death.