Victim Identified in Deadly Barn Fire

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RUSH TOWNSHIP -- Flames engulfed a barn along Rushtown Road near Elysburg in Northumberland County Saturday night.

Crews struggled to put out the flames due to so much fuel inside the barn, including gas tanks.

Trapped inside was 51-year-old Roger Billig.

“Great guy to be around. He was the kind of guy that would take the shirt off his back to help you out. If you just stop up there on a Sunday, he would be working on something, and he would just drop it and start talking to you,” said Bob Hess of Danville.

Investigators tell Newswatch 16 Billig was repairing a snowmobile when gas caught fire. The flames then spread to propane tanks, a maintenance shop, and the fuel tanks inside.

Billig didn't make it out alive, and the barn was leveled.

"And everything was completely gone. This wood was there, and it was still smoking,” witnessed Vayden Lenches.

Now the Billig family is not just coping with the loss of a barn and the classic cars and snowmobiles inside, but also the loss of a loved one.

Community members at Rush Baptist Church remember their neighbor and pray for his family after this tragedy.

"It's like a neighbor to our people here. People in this area are real close to each other, and it doesn't matter what church you go to or if you're Protestant, Catholic, or whatever you are, they're there for each other,” said Pastor Hugh Coulbourn.

Members of the Rush Baptist Church were there when Billig's body was discovered in the aftermath.

"They talked about that in Sunday school today. The guys mentioned that they were there when they found him and how silence came into the house when they found this person dead,” added Coulbourn.

The fire has been ruled an accident. The coroner says Billig died from breathing in too much smoke.

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