SHIRLEY - A man was found dead after crews extinguished a fire in the garage of a Shirley home early Sunday morning, police say.
The flames sparked shortly after 3 a.m. at a home on Manor Drive. Police say a 911 caller reported a fire in a detached garage of the home.
After crews extinguished the fire, they found the body of a man who lived in an apartment inside the garage.
Detectives say they are awaiting positive identification of the man by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's Office. However, family members at the scene have identified the man to News 12 as 67-year-old John Dowling. They say he was a Vietnam war veteran and an "awesome guy" who had rented the apartment.
Police say the cause of the fire appears to be non-criminal.
No other injuries were reported, although the flames spread to the main home on property and damaged the outside of the structure.
Fire crews had to return to the scene later in the day to douse hot spots.