Man, pet, die in Wednesday morning house fire - WNEM TV 5

Man, pet, die in Wednesday morning house fire

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FLINT TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Stephanie Phelps’s Wednesday morning started like any other.

“I seen a bunch flames and a bunch of smoke,” Phelps said.

That is until she opened her curtains to see her neighbor's home going up in flames shortly after 8 a.m. on the 1500 block of Pound Drive, off of Corunna Road in Flint Township.

“I ran and grabbed my husband and called 911 and we started knocking on windows and doors in case he was home. And he was home,” Phelps said.

Fire crews couldn't locate him in time, and he died. Police haven’t released his name yet.

“Entered the structure with, searching with thermo-imaging devices. Came up empty at that point,” said Flint Township Assistant Fire Chief Michael Burkley.

It wasn't until the smoke cleared that fire fighters found him buried under furniture debris in a family room.

“The mind of a fire fighter, you know. Could you do more,” Burkley said. “They did their job the best they could. They just couldn't see him this time.”

The man’s dog named Grace also died in the fire. Phelps said he got the puppy for companionship after a difficult family situation.

“I just feel for his family,” Phelps said.

Phelps said she didn't know her neighbor very well, but would visit him from time to time.

“We spoke, I’ve been to his house, I’ve been in his house,” Phelps said. “Me and his wife got along really well. He used to bring teddy bears to the boys all the time. Cinna-buns all the time.”

She said it's hard to believe this tragedy unfolded right across from her home.

“A house fire just surprises me. It really shook me up,” Phelps said.

Fire crews said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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