A Union man has died, and his brother is now homeless after a fire destroyed their home Wednesday afternoon.
Union Fire Chief Dale Yates said his department along with mutual aid help agencies including Decatur, Beulah-Hubbard, County Line, Dixon and Linwood fire departments, CareMed EMS, Union Police Department and Newton County Sheriff’s Department received the call at 1:48 p.m. Wednesday to a “fully-involved” structure fire on the corner of Tenth Street and Newton Street.
Union Police were on the scene almost immediately, and Union fire arrived four minutes later.
Yates said the victim was found by a window apparently trying to escape.
“It looked like he may have tried to open the window to get out of the house,” Yates said. “A neighbor came over and tried to help him out, but there was no way to get inside the house. The fire was already too bad by that point. There was nothing they could do.”
Yates said they attempted to rescue the victim through the front door, but they were unable to make safe entry into the residence through the front door or any other access point.
Newton County Deputy Coroner Rebecca Burton identified the victim as Travis Evans, 40. The cause of death was classified as smoke inhalation. He was pronounced dead at 2:45 p.m. after first responders were able to pull the victim’s body from the house.
Yates said the victim was the only person in the house at the time of the fire. The victim’s brother was working at Biewer Sawmill in Newton when the blaze occurred. No other persons were injured in the fire. The fire is an apparent total loss.
Newton County fire investigator Fred Hardy and state fire marshal Kevin Butler were on the scene investigating the cause of the fire.
The victim’s body was turned over to Beck Funeral Home, which will be handling funeral arrangements.