An early morning house fire leaves one person dead and investigators looking for a cause. The fire was reported just before 5:30 Monday morning on East Watauga Avenue in Johnson City.
Fire ripped through a house on East Watauga Avenue just before 5:30, leaving one person dead inside.
"We found the victim in the living room," described assistant fire marshal Lori Ratliff.
The death rattled the Johnson City neighborhood. "[It's] sad, they found his brother dead Saturday, then this happened today,” says neighbor Brenda Williams. “It's really heartbreaking, my heart goes out the family."
The scene was almost too much for close family friend Earl Fair. "I come over to check on him yesterday,” Fair said as he fought back tears, “he was drinking a little, I stayed a little while, then I got the call from his other brother Allen that the house had burned down. I come to check and it is gone."
Neighbors told us the fire woke them up. They quickly looked out to see the flames had swallowed the front of the house.
"My granddaughter heard something crackle woke her daddy up, before I knew it, fire," says neighbor Gary Carr.
Firefighters say the heat was so intense it melted the siding off the house next door and the house on the other side as well.
Fire investigators spent Monday combing through the debris. They say the fire does not appear suspicious at this time. "We will wait for the preliminary report from the autopsy report," says Ratliff.
Investigators are waiting until the victim’s family has been notified before releasing his name.