One person dead in Town of Pittsfield house fire

A house in the Town of Pittsfield is destroyed by fire Jan. 19, 2018. (WLUK/Don Steffens)

TOWN OF PITTSFIELD (WLUK) -- A man died in a house fire in the Town of Pittsfield, Pulaski fire says.

During an afternoon news conference, officials say they have not found the cause of the fire yet but do say it is not considered suspicious at this time.

Crews were called to a house on County HWY B near Pulaski around 8:00 a.m. Friday morning.

Firefighters say it took about 40 minutes to get the fire under control.

It was a shocking moment for neighbors as they saw the home engulfed in flames.

Betty Ann Boatman of Pittsfield, told FOX 11 "It was way above the trees like an explosion and I just froze. I couldn't believe what I was seeing."

But what came as a shock, quickly turned devastating for Betty Ann Boatman after hearing that the homeowner died in the fire.

Authorities say they're not releasing his name until an autopsy is performed.

"We grew up together, their kids, our kids. You feel so helpless, what can you do? And I didn't know if anyone was in the house or not. They've been our parents friends for a whole life time," Boatman said.

Boatman's brother, Dennis Stockwell was friends with the victim for more than 50 years.

"He was a good card player for my parents; he would come over all the time because he knew they were living alone," Stockwell said, "He'd play cards whether it's in the morning or at noon. That's what I think I'll miss."

Pulaski Tri-County fire chief James Styczynski said the fire started on the backside of the home but the cause is still unknown.

"That's what we're doing right now, going through the cause of origin to find out the location, the area. We're seeing if we can pinpoint the cause," Stycyznski explained.

Styczynski said no one else was injured but the structure of the house gave fire fighters some trouble.

"We had it under control within roughly an hour. There was a lot of additions, a lot of extra rooms into the house as the building grew on, so it was a little bit tough to fight right away but we knocked it down and we got it under control."

Although neighbors were happy to see the quick response, it's a fire Boatman said she'll never forget.

"You hear about it but you know, when it hits home, it's a different story," Boatman said.

The fire chief said because of the extensive damage the home is a total loss.

The state fire marshal's office has been called in to help in the investigation.

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