Man Dies in House Fire

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One man is dead after an early morning fire in a rural part of Lackawanna County.

Officials believe the home burned for hours before it was discovered.

Firefighters spent hours battling hot spots at a home on Freytown Road near Moscow. Crews were called around 6 a.m. Sunday, but the flames were too intense.

The Lackawanna County coroner said a man who lived in the home did not make it out alive.

The family owns The Woodlands Stable and Tack. The manager said the barn and all 40 horses that were on the property are fine.

Friends of the victim showed up in disbelief.

"He's a real good friend of mine. He was our senior warden of our Masons organization and he's also, this is the year he was going to be starting lieutenant governor of the Rotary Club. He's well-known, a super guy," said friend George Butcher of Madisonville.

"We just saw him last night at the spaghetti dinner. Actually he served us, and he was in such a good mood, really, really happy. We're just totally shocked, totally shocked," added Beverly Butcher of Madisonville.

The fire chief said hours earlier, crews were just down the road for reports of downed utility wires. The chief said PPL workers fixing those wires called 911 after spotting the flames.

"It was completely involved when the first engine arrived. There was really nothing more that we could do. It's in a remote location, so it was tough to get back to, it takes us a little bit of time to get here. Unfortunately, nobody drives by, it's not easily seen, probably burning for a couple hours before we even got dispatched to the call," said Chief Brad Jones with the Covington Fire Company.

The Covington Township fire chief said the company has not had a fatality in nearly 30 years.

"It hits us too, it hits home. We're not paid and unfortunately we have to do this again, it could be five minutes from now, so it is tough. It will be tough for the whole town," added Jones.

Those who knew the victim said his contributions to the community will never be forgotten.

"He's too good a guy. We`re going to miss him," added George Butcher.

The name of the victim has not yet been released.

State police said as of now, the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Again, the manager of The Woodlands stables said all the horses are fine and the business will be back open Monday.