A man has died in a house fire in Colchester late Monday night, according to fire officials.
Firefighters were called to the home on Cato Corner Road near the intersection of Prospect Hill Road around 11 p.m. and were told someone was trapped inside.
“A witness on scene reported there was an individual in the residence. They made an aggressive push inside. There was a lot of heat and a lot of fire. They ended up getting pushed back a little bit and made a second entry and were able to knock it down and located a victim inside,” said Colchester Hayward Volunteer Fire Company Chief Steven Hoffmann.
Firefighters elevated the fire to a second alarm, which allowed them to call in for more help.
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According to fire officials, a man in his late 60s died in the fire. His identity has not been released. A witness at the scene was also taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Investigators remained at the home into the early morning hours to look through evidence inside and outside the home.
“The residence is a stone building. It’s not your normal wood-framed structure so it really insulated and held the heat inside the building. So that, along with the building’s contents contributed. There was oxygen bottles inside the residence, which obviously is a catalyst to intensify fire. So that contributed to the intense heat and the amount of smoke inside,” Hoffmann added.
One of the oxygen tanks inside of the home exploded, but no firefighters were hurt.
The Colchester Fire Marshal as well as the State Police Fire Marshal are still investigating. They are working to determine the cause and origin of the fire.
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