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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — An airman from Ramstein died early Sunday morning in a fire that broke out in the third floor apartment he was renting in the town of Otterberg, according to U.S. Air Force and Kaiserslautern police officials.

The airman was identified as Airman 1st Class Robert J. Hernandez, 86th Airlift Wing officials stated in a news release issued Monday.

Hernandez, 26, of El Paso, Texas, was assigned to the 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

Air Force officials said the fire broke out in the kitchen, expanded to the entire apartment and set the roof ablaze. However, Kaiserslautern police said they could not say with certainty where the fire started.

Kaiserslautern police spokesman Werner Denzer said the man was found lifeless by firefighters. A 63-year-old American female civilian who resided in the same apartment building was hospitalized, Denzer said.

The incident and cause of death are under investigation, officials said.

“The 86th Airlift Wing lost a valued member of our Air Force family, and we are deeply saddened,” Brig. Gen. Charles K. Hyde, 86th Airlift Wing commander, said in a statement. Hernandez “will be missed by his unit and all who had the opportunity to serve with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

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