Wyoming County Fire Claims Life

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NICHOLSON -- A decorated veteran of the Vietnam war was the victim of a deadly fire in Wyoming County early this morning. People who knew him feel badly about what happened and the loss of their friend.

The fire ripped through a mobile home near Nicholson. Damage is clearly viable  the outside and inside.  A state police fire marshal said the damage is so bad he's listed the case as undermined but not suspicious.

Richard Judge, 64, was Killed in the fire. He was a decorated Vietnam vet.

According to a deputy coroner the victim tried to get out of his mobile home but simply could not.

Neighbor Debra Bliss said she was awakened by the deadly fire.

"There is no way he could get out it was too engulfed with flames there is no way anyone could get in or get out," Bliss said.

Neighbor Lillian Kaminsky said she watched the fire.

"Oh yeah i looked down and it was all flames were real high like oh yeah," said Kaminsky.

Joe Fox explained firefighters did what they could.

"The flames were coming out and then the volunteering firemen were there and start banging on the doors and windows but couldn't get a response," said Fox.

The Fire Chief says Judge's inability to escape the fire could have been due to his disabilities. Dave Gohsler said that wouldn't have surprised him.  Gohsler was Judge's friend. 

"He does have problems with his legs and he uses a walker and it was hard for him to get around and everybody took care of him, looked after him a little bit," said Gohsler.

Richard Judge was a longtime member of this American Legion Post in Nicholson. His follow vets are saddened about Judge's death.

Judge will be given a military funeral. Many will lay their friend to rest with heavy hearts.