Fire officials investigate deadly early morning fire

- Orange County Firefighters found a man dead inside his shed after a fire burned it beyond recognition. It happened around 2:30 a.m. after a neighbor called 911 when he saw black smoke behind a home in the 5100 hundred block of Formby Drive.

"Initially thought it could've been a bonfire and then once they further investigated they found out it was a workshop back of the home that was on fire,” said Orange County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Billy Richardson.

Firefighters say the shed had wood materials and all sorts of electrical equipment inside. Luckily it wasn't attached to the home and no other homes caught on fire but it was too late to save the man inside the shed.

"One of the homeowners stated someone was in the workshop working. Once they got the fire knocked down, we did a primary search of the building. We did find one victim and he was deceased at that time. It was a male age between 50 to 60 years old,” said Chief Richardson.

Neighbors told us he was getting ready to go to work when the fire broke out. The state fire marshal said a space heater was discovered inside the shed. They don't know if that caused the blaze until the lab results come back in a few weeks. Firefighters say this is a good reminder to be careful when using a space heater during these cold nights and early mornings.  

"Make sure they're on a good solid base so they can't tip over,” stated Chief Richardson. “A really good one (space heater) has a timer on it and it shuts off automatically but they can cause fires pretty quickly, they can get very hot too. So if you're using them make sure you're using them correctly."

The family pastor told us the family is asking for privacy as they mourn their loss. The identity of the man has not been released.

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