Wheelchair-bound Fire Victim Remembered

SUNBURY — We now know what caused a fire in Northumberland County that killed a man in a wheelchair.  A state police fire marshal believes Tuesday night’s fire started by accident in an area where there were several cords and power strips.

Firefighters were back at this house on Penn Street in Sunbury where a fire killed a man who lived here.

Keith Bordner, 53, needed a wheelchair to get around. Officials say he was in the living room with his wife when they heard popping and saw flames.

“She attempted to get him out. The police on scene tried to get him out and my firefighters tried to get him out.  With all the difficulties we faced, unfortunately we couldn’t,” said Sunbury Chief Mike Rhoads.

Chief Rhoads says the flames inside the house were too intense and several of Bordner’s oxygen tanks exploded. Neighbors heard the explosions.

“From the front of the house it was like huge flames.  They were shooting everywhere.  Then it went to the back of the house.  It was terrifying,” said Angie Clark.

A state police fire marshal says the fire started in the front room of the house and he believes it was electrical, started by too many cords and power strips in one area.

Bordner’s wife was able to get out of the burning house and the couple’s son was not home at the time.

But Bordner or “Bo” as some of his friends called him died in the living room.

“It was heart-wrenching to know that there was someone who just lost a loved one and we did everything we could possibly do to save them and we couldn’t,” said Chief Rhoads.

“It was very, very upsetting.  Between him and the animals it was a big loss for the whole community,” said Clark.

Officials say three dogs and a cat also died in the fire.

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