A Joplin man who died as a result of injuries he received in a fire Wednesday has been identified as William Crawford, 72.

Dale Owen, the Newton County coroner, said Crawford died at 9:35 a.m. Thursday in the Burn Center at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, where he had been taken a day earlier.

Owen said Crawford's death was caused by significant burns over a large part of his body and smoke inhalation. Those injuries occurred when a space heater caught Crawford's bedding on fire, the coroner said.

The Joplin Fire Department, Joplin Police Department, Redings Mill Fire Department and Newton County Ambulance were dispatched to a reported structure fire on Wednesday morning in the area of 44th Street and Range Line Road. Arriving at 7:39 a.m., they found the injured man outside a commercial vehicle that authorities said he had converted into living quarters.

Immediate treatment was provided to the patient, who was then transported by ambulance to a hospital.

An investigation of the fire was conducted by the Missouri Division of Fire Safety.

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