POLK TOWNSHIP – Three people were home when that fire broke out Tuesday night in Monroe County, only two made it out alive.
A grandfather lost his life after he and his loved ones endured a lot over the past year.
Investigators said the fire near Kresgeville started after food was left cooking on the stove.
A woman and her grandmother made it out but her grandfather, William Berry, did not.
Neighbors said the family has had its share of recent troubles and now the fire.
Investigators said the fire broke out shortly after 8 p.m. on Mountain Road in Polk Township and Berry was trapped inside.
Berry’s wife and granddaughter made it out but Berry could not escape.
“They brought someone out on the stretcher, he was covered up. One of my neighbors said that was Berry they took out, they couldn’t get him back,” said David Barger.
Neighbors remember the man who went by “Berry” for all he did for his family. They said his wife, Barbara, has health problems which meant several trips every week for treatments.
“He took care of his wife, took her to dialysis, took care of his family. Knew him to say hello. Very nice person,” said Mary Ann Cormier.
Barner said his neighbors lost a daughter to cancer just within the past year.
“They really put up with a lot, his daughter dying, she died in October. She was like 49.”
On top of everything else, neighbors said William Berry suffered a heart attack and stroke last month and returned home only a few weeks ago, then this. Now his wife is a widow and his granddaughter without a grandfather.
Friends said Berry played music, went shooting with neighbors and most of all was a man who cared for his family.
“He was a nice person, he never complained. Never complained about taking his wife every day, devoted,” said Barger.
State police have ruled the fire an accident and the coroner said Berry died from breathing in too much smoke.
Hospital officials said Barbara Berry was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.