Updated 11/03/2012 06:16 PM
Binghamton man killed trying to save dogs from fire
A Binghamton man dies trying to save family pets as flames ripped through an apartment building in the city. YNN's Elyse Mickalonis tells us firefighters did all they could to save the 41-year-old man.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- A charred third floor, debris on the ground and broken windows remain after an early morning apartment fire in Binghamton. Flames took the life of a 41-year-old man.
"He was a good person,” said Donald Mattox. “He might have not had much in life, but he had a heart of gold."
Proving his good nature, fire officials say the victim most likely died from smoke inhalation in the attic while trying to rescue pets.
"Probably got overcome with smoke. Him and his wife were up there. They were both awake, got out, but he went back in there for the dogs,” said Daniel Eggleston, Binghamton FD Fire Marshal.
Mattox added, "He got stuck in all the smoke and what not, he even hollered, 'I can't find my way out.' He did make it to a window, but by the time he did, the smoke must have overtaken him."
Firefighters say they did everything they could to save the man who was trapped inside.
"They went in, they fought hard,” said Eggleston. “They knew someone was in there. They gave it their all, but they weren't able to save him."
Investigators say the fire started around 6:30 a.m. Flames sparked in the second floor rear bedroom and then spread to the attic and roof. Nine people lived at 51 Thorp and three weren’t home. Those who were woke up to smoke detectors.
"One individual in the building was alerted to the fire by the smoke detectors in his bedroom,” said Eggleston. “He woke up and altered everyone else and got them out of the house."
A tragic turn of events for firefighters who worked hard to save man who ran back into the home to save several dogs.
The cause is still under investigation. Anyone looking to donate clothes or blankets can contact the Red Cross.