Man found dead in blaze had been bound

Newsday - December 28, 2005

by Luis Perez

Firefighters extinguishing a blaze in a Chelsea apartment made a macabre discovery yesterday afternoon: the badly burned body of a man whose legs and hands had been bound, police said yesterday.

The 45-year-old man was found in his apartment at 228 W. 18th St. about 3 p.m., police said, when 60 firefighters arrived there to extinguish a blaze.

The fire was put out half an hour later.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and there were no immediate signs of trauma to his body, a police official said. The cause of death is pending a report from the city medical examiner.

It was not clear how the fire started, but the police official said criminality was suspected.