Three days after a man was found dead inside a home that burned to the ground, the cause remains under investigation.
The homeowner, who was initially unaccounted for when the fire broke out, was found Sunday afternoon while investigators were processing the scene. Officials identified the man as Eric Youngfellow, 76. He was the only person in the house when the fire broke out.
"Just a major shock for everyone," said next door neighbor Scott McCollum of the deadly fire. "He was a really nice guy, always there to help out."
Neighbors called 911 at about 3:15 a.m., upon seeing flames coming from the back of the fir tree-lined property on Southeast El Centro Way. By the time fire crews from Clackamas County Fire District 1 arrived, the house was 60 percent consumed in flames.
"My dog was going crazy," said Lacey McCollum. "I could see orange illuminating my bedroom."
A fire spokesman says that due to extensive remodeling, large amounts of household products were stacked throughout, and natural gas was flowing from a broken supply line, which likely contributed to the intensity of the fire.
One firefighter was injured when he fell. He was transported to a local hospital to be treated for a possible broken nose.
Firefighters say all of the debris around the house made it difficult for crews to access. It wasn't until 1 p.m. that crews discovered the body of the homeowner still inside.
"It's just sad," said neighbor Marshall Smith, who stopped by the home Sunday evening. "Eric was an older guy, hard worker... great guy."
Investigators said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
The home is a total loss with the damage estimate at $116,400, according to firefighters.
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