DUSHORE –A man died when his home in Dushore caught fire Christmas morning.
The woman who lives next door to the burning home on Academy Terrace says the sirens and spectacular flames jolted her out of bed around 7 a.m.
“So, I came to the top of the steps here, and I looked, and then when I turned, I could see the whole back was all in flames and the fire trucks were just getting there,” said Freda Bender.
Firefighters battled single-digit temperatures, but could not save the home of a man described by neighbors as a recluse and in his 70s.
Firefighters hoped there was nobody in the burning building, that perhaps relatives of the man picked him up for Christmas and took him to their home somewhere in the community.
Then, one of the firefighters discovered a wood stove that appeared to have been in use and that may be the cause of the fire.
“At this point, we do not have the person himself, but we are quite sure he is still in the structure,” said Dushore Fire Chief Scott Hope.
Hope says there was so much collected stuff inside that kept feeding the fire, and kept firefighters from entering the building to look for the man who lived there.
“It was just so full of debris. There’s insulation, there’s plywood, there’s building material in every single room that’s stacked throughout the house. It’s just full,” Hope told Newswatch 16.
Hope says they did find the man’s body later in the afternoon.
“I just know his first name is Lou,” said neighbor Freda Bender. “I don’t know his last name.”
Bender says no one in the neighborhood knew the man who lived here for the past two years and who died alone on Christmas Day.
Authorities say they are trying to notify the man’s relatives.
The cause of the fire in Sullivan County is under investigation.