1 dead after house fire in Middlebury

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MIDDLEBURY -- The Middlebury Fire Department said that a person died in a house fire.

A fire broke out around 2:30 p.m. on Route 188, also known as Whittemore Road, in Middlebury. The two-family house is near the I-84 overpass.

Fire Chief Anthony Bruno said their search and rescue team found a dead man on the first floor, but no one else was injured. He has been identified as William Harrison, a man in his 60s who lived alone in the unit.

The man died from accidental smoke inhalation, according to the medical examiner.

Four people and two cats in the other unit got out safely, but are missing one cat. Their unit has smoke and water damage.

Anna Maria Weber lives in that unit. She was in her living room at the time, unaware that the other unit was in flames.

"My grandson came running downstairs he said, 'We gotta get out of the house. The house is on fire.' I went, 'What?' because at that point I hadn't smelled any smoke or anything. And I just ran in," she said. "My son and my daughter-in-law were in the family room. I said, 'We gotta get out, the house is on fire' and when we came out we saw it. It was just coming out of his unit, the kitchen door and everything. I started screaming to the firemen, 'There's somebody in there! Please get in there and help him!".

"I'm just very heartbroken about my neighbor. He's a good person," she said.

The Red Cross is assisting the displaced family and the state fire marshal is working to determine what caused the fire.