Lennox and Addington OPP say one man is dead after a house was completely gutted by a fire in the village of Colebrook, north of Yarker, Ont.
Witnesses say the fire began around 11 p.m. on Monday at the home on County Road 6 between Colebrook and Bethel roads.
The blaze was extinguished by Tuesday morning, but the inside of the home was completely destroyed.
Brothers Daryl and Garth Seymour shared the home.
“They were great guys. Sad to see this happened to them,” neighbour Andrew Ruttan said.
Daryl, 63, has been identified as the deceased. His body was found by rescue crews inside the home, near the front door, fire officials say.
“I told one firefighter there was still someone in the house. The last of seeing him was in the kitchen,” Ruttan said.
Ruttan, who has lived in the small community for six years, says Garth, the victim’s younger brother, attempted to run back into the building to save his brother.
“The younger brother was trying to go back in,” said Ruttan. “It took three of us to get him back to my place to stay away from the fire.”
Garth was taken to hospital with unknown injuries.
A third man, a house guest who Ruttan referred to as Don, was also in the burning home at the time but managed to escape injury, according to Ruttan.
Three neighbours say the coroner arrived at the house after midnight.
Ruttan says Daryl was a former volunteer firefighter and a retiree who had previously owned a contracting company.
He adds that Daryl and Garth were well known in the community for their generosity and kindness toward others.
“They were excellent guys. They’d give the shirts off their backs if you asked for it. They’d do anything for you,” Ruttan said.
He added: “I would imagine that the community will get together and try and help them out as much as possible.
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County Road 6 was closed briefly so emergency crews could deal with the fire, but it has since reopened.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. Acting fire Chief Jeff Thompson says three officials from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office were on the scene Tuesday and stayed late into the evening.