BOSTON (CBS) – The Essex County District Attorney’s office says an autopsy performed on Peabody Firefighter James Rice leaves the cause of death undetermined pending further investigation.

Rice, an 11-year veteran succumbed to injuries suffered while fighting a three-alarm blaze at an apartment building on Friday. Peabody Fire Chief Steven Pasdon says Rice may have inhaled toxic fumes.

Pasdon says the 46-year-old was between the first and second floors of the building when he encountered heavy and eventually overwhelming fire conditions.

Rice was immediately worked on by paramedics and fire crews, but was pronounced dead at North Shore Medical Center.

A funeral will be held for Rice this Friday at St. John The Baptist Church.


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