Body found after fire

The body of a man found after a fire was extinguished is removed from a townhome in the 300 block of North Canal Street. (Phil Velasquez, Chicago Tribune / February 26, 2014)

The body of a man was found as firefighters extinguished a blaze in the Fulton River neighborhood this morning.

The small fire broke out around 10:10 a.m. in a residence in the 300 block of North Canal Street, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

The man, who lived in the condominium where the fire took place, was identified as James Whitmer, 70, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office and public records.

Crews found the body in the living room area on the upper level of the homes, which are three stories each, Langford said.  He was dead on the scene and no one else was injured.

Langford said the fire was confined to the living room area, and the cause was under investigation.

There was no structural damage to the unusually shaped stone building with slanted roof.

Preliminary reports indicate the townhome fire is non criminal, Police News Affairs Officer Janel Sedevic said.

No one was displaced, the officer said. 

rsobol@tribune.com | Twitter: @RosemarySobol1