Firefighters find man dead inside burning St. Matthews home

Published: Jan. 21, 2014 at 1:15 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2014 at 9:41 PM EST
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The fire started around 6:23 a.m. Tuesday at 3344 Willis Avenue.
The fire started around 6:23 a.m. Tuesday at 3344 Willis Avenue.
St. Matthews Fire Department spokesman Rick Tonini
St. Matthews Fire Department spokesman Rick Tonini

ST. MATTHEWS, KY (WAVE) - Rescue efforts transformed into a recovery mission Tuesday morning, after a house fire in St. Matthews left one man dead.

A neighbor living along Willis Avenue called the fire in to emergency crews just before 6:30 a.m.@

"I was awake and I saw the lights from a police vehicle," said Woody Miller, a resident living near the fire.

Curiosity led Miller to venture out into the cold. What he saw next, got his heart pumping faster.

"There was smoke pouring from the home," began Miller, "and then I saw a burst of flames coming from the right side of the roof."

Those flames, however, had already been noticed by a neighbor living next to the burning home. Fire crews from Harrods Creek, Lyndon, McMahan and St. Matthews responded to that neighbor's call for help. However, once on the scene firefighters had trouble getting inside to battle the fire after discovering clutter inside the house.

Firefighters located the tenant in his kitchen. They attempted to revive the man, but were unsuccessful.

"He didn't have much family," said Miller.

Although Miller said he and the victim had not been friends, Miller said after living in the area more than 30 years, word of the victim's death put things in perspective.

"I didn't know him very well. He kept to himself," said Miller. "It just makes me want to be more aware of my neighbors and you know, look after my neighbors."

While unsuccessful, firefighters note their efforts to revive the victim were not hampered by the downfall of snow.

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