- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 14, 2017

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Authorities say an apartment fire that killed a Las Cruces man last month appears to have been set intentionally and now is being investigated as a homicide.

Las Cruces police say 67-year-old Allie James Hardeman lived alone on a second-floor apartment.

Firefighters responded to a fire at the apartment on Feb. 26 and Hardeman was located unconscious in a bedroom.

He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The state medical investigator’s office says smoke inhalation was the primary cause of death.

Investigators say some type of accelerant was possibly used to ignite or spread the fire in the apartment.

Police say the Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that helps identify who was responsible for the fatal fire.

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