CYPRESS HILLS, Brooklyn (PIX11)— A 75-year-old man was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment Wednesday afternoon, police said.

The man lived in an apartment above a restaurant. Someone at the restaurant had called 911 because of a smell coming from the apartment.

Authorities were conducting a wellness check in the second-floor apartment at 25 101st Ave. in Cypress Hills at around 1 p.m. and found the man sitting on a chair, unconscious and unresponsive, police said. EMS pronounced the man dead at the scene. The body was highly decomposed.

Containers with an unknown chemical were found at the scene, police said. The DEP and FBI were on the scene Thursday morning removing hazardous material bags full of items.

People in the community described the victim as a nice, down-to-earth guy. They shared stories about how he was kind to children and gave money to the homeless.

Two blocks from the scene at a luncheonette where the victim played numbers most days, one of the workers shared some possible insight into why there might have been hazardous materials in the apartment.

“He was just an old guy who lived alone. He needed a way to protect himself,” the worker said. “So sometimes he talked about poisons. I guess that was his way of self-defense, he just says that he makes poisons.”

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).