A man whose body was found inside his burned house in Lebanon on Wednesday set the fire and then shot himself, according to state officials.

The body of James Avery, 58, was found inside the Shapleigh Road house Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators from the Maine Fire Marshal’s office said a gun was found near Avery’s body and a gasoline container was also located nearby.

Avery lived alone and rented the two-story house, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Officials had suspected that the fire was set and the finding that Avery had shot himself was confirmed Thurdsay by the State Medical Examiner’s Office, McCausland said.

The fire was reported around noon Wednesday.


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