Colonial Heights man dies in fire
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
May 23, 2014, 13:37
BLAKE BELDEN/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT
COLONIAL HEIGHTS - One man is dead following a house fire on the 300 block of Prince Albert Avenue in Colonial Heights this morning.
Colonial Heights fire and EMS officers arrived at the scene at approximately 5:42 a.m. on Friday to find the right half of a duplex filled with heavy smoke, according Deputy Fire Marshal Lt. J.E. Boisseau.
The police department had arrived on scene first, at which point multiple officers kicked the front door in to find the occupant on the ground by the door, Boisseau said.
Fire and EMS officers pronounced Robert Stewart Emory, 67, who was the sole occupant in the building, dead at the scene of the fire, according to authorities.
The fire is believed to be accidental and the result of careless smoking, Boisseau said.
The right side of the duplex, in which Emory resided, showed significant signs of damage, while the left side of the building suffered minor damages from the fire.
The brick exterior appeared relatively unharmed from the outside but the interior of the home was burnt black, the front window was busted out and fire damage had spread to the front gutter on the outside of the building.
By 11:45 a.m., the scene smelled of smoke and ashes, and fire and EMS officials began removing the yellow tape from the scene just before noon.
According to the property owner, the victim was the sole tenant in the apartment, and the fire had been extinguished by the time he arrived on the scene shortly after 7 a.m.
The investigation showed that there was a working smoke detector in the house, Boisseau said.