Feb 16, 2013 10:53 PM
A fire broke out in a Louisville house Saturday morning and claimed the life of a pioneering athlete.
Laurence Simmons, the first African-American to ever play football at the University of Louisville, was killed in the fire.
Fire crews were called out to the home just before 10:30. Simmons was the only person killed in the fire, the other people living in the home got out safely.
Fire investigators say the fire started somewhere in the basement but there were no smoke detectors in the house.
"We don't know that's a contributing factor to the fire death, however it is a contributing factor to not having an early warning in the fire," says Greg Frederick, the fire chief.
Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.
Laurence Simmons played football for U of L in 1952. Family members say he was also a teacher at Meyzeek Middle School, from where he retired.