Military veteran with dementia dies in Orange County house fire

- An elderly man who neighbors say was a military veteran and had dementia is dead after an overnight house fire.

Investigators are on scene of a deadly house fire in Orange County this Wednesday morning.

Neighbors called 911 around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. 13 units arrived at the scene on Alexandria Place Drive in total, including 6 firetrucks and many paramedics. The fire is now out and firefighters are checking for any flare ups. Much of the damage appears to be towards the back and left side of the house.

Neighbors describe the house fire as horrific, with flames shooting at least ten feet over the roof. One neighbor called 911 to tell them that the homeowner was likely in his bedroom. Firefighters had to cut through the garage door to get inside, but unfortunately, the victim was found dead at the scene.



Neighbors say the victim, identified as 75-year-old Richard Anthony Newburn, was a military veteran. One neighbor Fox 35 spoke to says that he knew Richard well and would often check on him. He also said that Richard has dementia and recently had his drivers license taken away, so he would often drive him to the store and he actually just saw him on Tuesday.

Orange County Fire Rescue says Newburn most likely died of smoke inhalation. Orange County Sheriff's Office detectives believe that Newburn's death was accidental. However, the Orange County Fire Rescue says that there were reports of lightning strikes at the time of the fire, so crews are investigating to determine the exact cause.


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