Columbia Falls Man Dies of Apparent Heart Attack Near Fire

By Beacon Staff

COLUMBIA FALLS — The body of a 66-year-old Flathead Valley man was found near a 40-acre fire that started as a controlled burn near Columbia Falls.

Flathead County Undersheriff Dave Leib says the man apparently set the fire Tuesday evening, but it somehow got out of control.

Leib says the body of William Meeks was found Wednesday morning near the head of the fire.

Leib says the retired police officer from Long Beach, Calif., likely over-exerted himself while trying to fight the fire and died of a heart attack.

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