Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Updated at 11:45 a.m., Feb. 6, 2015

The body of a convicted felon who had refused to surrender to authorities was found Friday in a Lancaster house that caught fire after a SWAT team fired tear gas inside, authorities said.

The body was found shortly before midnight at the scene of the fire in the 45000 block of Gadsden Avenue, according to the sheriff’s department.

A sheriff’s Special Weapons Team was summoned to the location about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, after deputies had gone to the home to arrest “a known felon in possession of a firearm,” the sheriff’s department reported.

The man — regarded as armed and dangerous — refused to surrender, and surrounding homes were evacuated, the sheriff’s department reported.

After continued negotiations failed to get him to surrender, “the Special Weapons Team introduced (tear) gas into the residence, and ultimately a fire began inside the location,” according to a sheriff’s statement.

SWAT deputies entered the residence about 11:45 p.m., put out the fire and found the suspect dead, the statement said. The cause of death was not immediately released.

A sawed-off shotgun was found in the residence, the sheriff’s department reported.

The man’s name was withheld pending notification of his relatives.

—City News Service

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