Man found dead after Indianapolis house fire

Fire, death under investigation

INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis firefighters put out a blaze at a northeast side home early Sunday and found a man dead inside, investigators said.

Firefighters responded to a residential alarm just before 7 a.m. at 3921 Chateau Drive, near 38th Street and Post Road, and found the home on fire.

The blaze was brought under control in 15 minutes.

When firefighters went into the home, they found Bryant Steele, 27, dead inside. He was in a bed in the living room, police said.

Homicide detectives were called to the scene.

Family members said Steele was openly gay and that they believe the fire may have been a hate crime.

"It was cruel for somebody to do something to somebody, take somebody's life that. Bryant was a loving and kind person," said Steele's aunt, Diane Collins.

"Whoever did it, if the police don't get them, God will get them," said Steele's cousin, Erniesha Collins.

Police said they do believe foul place was involved.

Damage to the home was estimated at $90,000.

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