Poconos Coal

Man dies in house fire in Monroe County

Neighbors heard screaming as home burned

CHESTNUTHILL TWP, Pa. - A man has died after an early-morning fire in Monroe County.

Carl Dangren saw his neighbor's home up in flames at around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

"I opened the door and heard banging on the glass. I saw the flames pouring out of every window of the house," said Dangren.

Dangren then called for help and he could hear his neighbor's screams from inside.

"Just upset to see somebody die in a fire," he said while fighting back tears.

Officials say the 53-year-old man was found in the basement. It's also where the fire is believed to have started inside the home located in the 300 block of James Road, in the Effort area of Chestnuthill Township.

A heavy foam was spread hours later to contain hotspots. James Road is in a wooded neighborhood. Crews say the narrow, uneven roads made getting to the home difficult.

"On the side road we had a downed power line that went to the house, so our initial plan to bring tankers in through the side street didn't happen, because they couldn't get through. We had an energized power line," said Lt. Tim Burlew of the West End Fire Department.

The West End Fire Department was one of four departments that responded to the fire.

The delay didn't matter. The fire had already spread and the home was gone.

Dangren, who brought food to his neighbor Saturday, says the man, a former construction foreman, kept to himself and lived alone.

"That is basically the hard part, you hear someone scream like that. Last thing anyone wants is to die in a fire. Got to be a horrible death," he tearfully said.

Crews are still investigating how the fire started.

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