Laurence Simmons en U of L's First African-American Football Player Dies in House Fire <p>A family member said the University of Louisville's first African-American football player, Laurence Simmons, was killed over the weekend in a house fire.</p><p>Maj. Henry Ott, of Louisville Fire &amp; Rescue, said the 79-year-old Simmons was living in a basement bedroom when a fire started Saturday morning likely due to a frayed extension cord used to power a space heater. No one else was injured.</p><p>His brother, Norman Simmons, told The Courier-Journal that Laurence Simmons played offensive lineman for the University of Louisville in 1952 and was a standout football player at Central High School. Tue, 19 Feb 2013 12:44:05 +0000 Associated Press 26673 at