Body of 84-year-old man found in house fire

Posted at 8:57 AM, Dec 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-23 14:48:10-05

CHARLES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A man was killed when fire ripped through his one-story home in Charles City County early Saturday morning.

A neighbor called 911 when she saw smoke coming up from her neighbor's house.

"I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know the fire was that bad," the neighbor said.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, said she knew the victim well.

"I was sad," she said.  "I've known him all my life.  He was a nice man."

Charles City County Sheriff Javier Smith said as firefighters put out the flames, they discovered 84-year-old Marion Hughes in his bed.  Smith said Hughes lived alone, but had a caretaker who checked on him everyday.

"She came to the home around 9 and left around 10 o'clock," Charles City County Sheriff Javier Smith said.  "He was in his den when she left."

Fire investigators have not yet determined what caused the fire, but believe it may have started in the back of the house.

"It is such a tragedy to the family who lost a loved one, and our heart does go out to the family," Smith said.  "Certainly, it's a loss to our community."

While Sheriff Smith said Hughes may have died from smoke inhalation, the medical examiner will determine the cause of death.