HAMILTON - A Hamilton man is dead after fire engulfed his Pine Street house Thursday morning.
Hamilton fire fighters responded to the 700 block of Pine Street, near Joe Nuxhall Boulevard. When they arrived deputy chief Jeff Shaw said the house was "fully involved" and was burning from front to back.
Neighbors who called 911 feared the man, who's name hasn't been released, was still inside. He was. Fire crews at first attempted to enter through the front door but the floor had burned out.
They then made entry through the back door hoping to rescue the man but the intensity of the blaze was so high it risked the lives of the fire crews.
"Anybody who was inside, it was going to be very difficult for them to still be alive," said Shaw.
In fact, investigators believe the fire had a two hour head start on them.
Earlier in the morning Lori Wesley, a next door neighbor, went outside and smelled something in the air but wasn't concerned.
"It smelled musty and I thought, 'well somebody started their fireplace or something.' It never dawned on me that it was a house fire," said Wesley.
After a time another neighbor, who declined to speak to reporters, saw smoke coming from the house told his wife to call 911 and went over to try to rescue the man inside.
"Just as he got the(back)door busted in then the two windows between the two houses blew and Keith tried real hard to get in there. He got himself all wet and was trying to go through the door and I kept going you can't go in there," said Wesley.
Crews discovered a body as they searched the house. The 37-year-old man was the home's sole occupant, fire crews said.
An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway and while it is not yet complete it does appear the fire started in the living room.
The man's name will be released pending the results of the autopsy.
As it happened the man's father drove over to the house to pick him up for Thanksgiving. The father was greeted by fire engines and the sight of his son's house a charred shell.
"His dad was a mess," said Wesley, "He came over to pick him up for Thanksgiving. He didn't even know about it. His dad pulled up and saw the trucks and everything."
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