Authorities: Man burning brush catches fire, dies

Muskegon County

An undated courtesy photo of Ronnie Cainvess, Sr.

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who was burning brush overnight in Muskegon Heights accidentally set himself on fire and died, authorities say.

Family identified the man as 66-year-old Ronnie Cainvess, Sr.

“He was loved by his kids and family… The family really appreciates all the kind words of condolences,” Ronnie Caviness, Jr. said in a statement.

His body was found around noon Tuesday outside a home on Hoyt Street near E. Hackley Avenue, Fire Chief Chris Dean told 24 Hour News 8. Police called in the fire department because there were burn marks on the body.

Dean said the man was burning brush and debris around 2 a.m. when he caught fire and collapsed. There is surveillance video that shows part of what happened.

A dog brought to the scene did not find any evidence of accelerants.

“We do not suspect foul play, just a tragic freak accident,” Dean said.

Dean said intoxication may have hampered the man’s ability to douse the flames.

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