Former Dallas Council Member Leo Chaney Jr. Dies

By Andres Gutierrez and Greg Janda
|  Saturday, Aug 17, 2013  |  Updated 7:01 PM CDT
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Dallas residents are preparing for a final farewell for Dallas City Councilman Leo Chaney Jr. who died after a fire at his home on Monday. His lasting legacy will have an impact on his South Dallas community for years to come.

Andres Gutierrez, NBC 5 News

Dallas residents are preparing for a final farewell for Dallas City Councilman Leo Chaney Jr. who died after a fire at his home on Monday. His lasting legacy will have an impact on his South Dallas community for years to come.

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A former Dallas City Council member died after a fire at his home Monday.

Officials said 62-year-old Leo Chaney Jr. was unresponsive when Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighters discovered him Monday afternoon. He died at a Dallas hospital Monday evening.

Chaney, who was the District 7 councilmember from 1999 to 2007, was alone in his residence on the 2700 block of South Boulevard when the fire broke out, officials said.

Authorities are trying to determine what sparked the fire. The victim's brother, Terrence Chaney, said investigators are looking at a possible electrical problem. He also said authorities suspect his brother succumbed to smoke inhalation. 

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings praised the former council member for his public service. Rawlings said Chaney "did so much for southern Dallas and the community he loved."

In 2003, Chaney, along with Dr. Harry Robinson of the African-American Museum, co-founded the Tulisoma Book Fair, a community-based annual book and art fair in South Dallas and Fair Park.

The coroner's office on Tuesday did not immediately provide a cause of death.

Funeral arrangements for Chaney have not yet been made public.

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