Officers Release Identity of Man Killed in Fire

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

UPDATE: June 4, 2012-6:15 PM

The fire happened in Apartment D5 at the Shady Knoll Apartments. The woman in D6 said she smelled smoke early Sunday morning.

Michael Hayes and his wife ran outside to see where the smoke was coming from.

"I just put my nose to the door and I smelled the smoke, right. So I ran around to the back of the building and that's when I saw the flames," said Hayes.

Fifty-seven year old Cyril Stitt was inside the apartment.

"He was in a wheel chair cause he had a stroke about two and a half years ago," said Hayes.

Hayes said he tried to break down the door. He said the smoke and flames were too much get through. When firefighters arrived they found Stitt in his bedroom but it was too late.

"He was a good guy. You know. He kept the cats in the neighborhood fed. He worked up there at FSU for about eighteen years," said Hayes.

Chuck Walsh, the Deputy Director of Sports Information at FSU, said Stitt was a lettered basketball player at the university during the 1973, 74, and 75 seasons. Neighbors say Stitt lived alone in the apartment and rarely had visitors.

"I feel real bad about it. You know, I'm really pretty upset about it. I'm trying to figure out why did his room catch on fire if he didn't smoke?" said Hayes.

The State Fire Marshal's office said the fire is not considered suspicious.

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UPDATE: June, 4, 2012- 2:15 PM

The Tallahassee Police Department released the name of the victim in the Shady Knoll Apartment fire. Officers say 57 year old Cyril Stitt
was killed when fire consumed his bedroom.

Stitt was a former FSU basketball player. Chuck Walsh, the Deputy Director of Sports Information at FSU, confirmed that Stitt was a lettered player during the 1973, 1974, and 1975 seasons.

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Tallahassee, FL -- June 4, 2012 -- Noon --

Investigators have still not released the identity of a man killed in a weekend fire. The fire happened early Sunday morning at the Shady Knoll Apartments in Tallahassee.

Eyewitness News spoke to the State Fire Marshal's office and they are saying that the fire at Shady Knoll is not being investigated as suspicious in nature.

The woman who lives in the apartment next to the one that caught fire said she smelled smoke; that's when she and her husband discovered it was coming from next door. They called 911. Neighbors tried to get into the apartment, but they say the smoke and flames were too heavy. She said the fire seemed to be contained to the bedroom. When firefighters arrived, she said they brought the man's body out.

At this time, we have not received an official identity. We do know that the Tallahassee Fire Department, the Fire Marshal's Office and the Tallahassee Police Department are involved in the case.

We will continue to follow this story. Stay with WCTV for updates.

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Tallahassee, FL --June 3, 2012--

Neighbors tried to rescue a man trapped inside of a burning apartment early Sunday morning 6-3-12

Heavy smoke was coming out of one of the apartments at Shady Knoll on West 5th Ave. Neighbors say they tried to break down the door and get to their friend. But couldn't get through the smoke and flames.

When firefighters put out the fire they found the man dead in the bedroom.

"We tried to rush up in there, but the smoked turned us back around." "I couldn't see nothing but smoke. That's all we could see," says Michael Hayes, who tried to rescue his friend.

The fire is under investigation. But as of now, firefighters don't believe it was suspicious. They're also not releasing the man's name until his family has been notified.


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