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Local Man Dies After House Fire

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Credit: Aranda Russell

Credit: Aranda Russell

A grieving family tells 11 News the man fatally injured in a house fire was trying to ignite a fire in his wood stove when his clothing caught fire.

Ivan Rathburn, 85, was transported from Colorado Springs to a Denver hospital, where he later died.

The family says Rathburn was using gasoline Tuesday night to start a fire in his stove. Flames flared up, catching Rathburn's clothing on fire, then spreading from the basement to the first floor of his Tremont Street home.

A witness told 11 News that a neighbor rushed over after seeing Rathburn, and rolled him in the snow to put out the flames.

Rathburn suffered burns to 70 percent of his body. His family says they decided to take him off life support after doctors told them he would likely not survive.

The coroner has still not released the official cause of death.

His grandson told 11 News he and Rathburn were close.

"He was always there for me; we really had an understanding, a mutual understanding with each other," Dustin said.

The family says Rathburn ran the West Side Body Shop in Colorado Springs for 65 years.

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