SEBRING, Ohio (WKBN) – A fatal house fire happened in Sebring late Saturday night and first responders are still trying to figure out the cause.
It happened around 10 p.m. at 447 W New York Avenue. Neighbors said they heard an explosion and then the house was engulfed with flames.
Fire Chief Mike Springer confirmed one person died in the fire.
“We literally had to sit here and watch this house burn…it’s unfortunate,” said neighbor Josh Homan.
Homan says he tried to help save his neighbor until first responders arrived on scene. The police also tried to get in, but the flames were too big.
“Some of us called the fire department to see what was going on with Sebring. They said they were stuck at a train and they’d be there in 6 minutes,” Homan said.
Springer told First News that it’s still under investigation and the first responders had trouble getting to the emergency quickly because of a passing train.
They weren’t able to cross the tracks to get to the home because of the train crossing.
According to the chief, it took approximately three or four hours to get the fire under control. He also confirmed the victim was an elderly man who was deceased when the unit arrived.
Springer said that trains are always an issue in the area.
“Trains have always been a problem in this town, so I don’t know anything that we can change immediately, because train tracks split our town right down our center,” Springer said. “But we need to come up with some sort of plan. This is everybody’s worst nightmare, to have a fatality and you can’t get to them because of a train stop for whatever reasons.”
The victim’s identity and the cause of the fire have not been confirmed yet.