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Lavaca County house fire claims life of Sugar Land man

By Sonny Long
March 16, 2010 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated March 15, 2010 at 10:16 p.m.


WIED - A 37-year-old Sugar Land man died Monday in a house fire on Farm-to-Market Road 340, about 10 miles west of Hallettsville.

Steven Joe Castecka was found in the bathtub after the fire was extinguished, said Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon.

Castecka was identified from a partial thumb print and his body sent to the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office in Austin, the sheriff said.

The state fire marshal's office came to the scene with a dog trained to detect accelerants, but none were found, Harmon said.

The call came in at 10:20 a.m. and the house was fully involved when the Hallettsville Volunteer Fire Department arrived, said fire chief Anthony Ludwig.

"It was pretty much gone when we got there," Ludwig said. "There was one wall left standing."

Ludwig said firefighters had to extinguish some trees near the house that had caught fire and protect a nearby barn.

Harmon said the house was a family home that Castecka and his parents visited "from time to time." The parents had also been there during the weekend, but had returned to the Houston area, the sheriff said.

Harmon added that according to the state fire marshal's office, because the house was totally destroyed, it would be difficult to determine the fire's point of origin.

No foul play is suspected, the sheriff said.

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