ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Investigators looking into a fatal north St. Louis fire Friday Monday morning uncovered some tragic details and a heroic effort by neighbors.
"I'm just sad to see him go out like this,' Otis Grundy stared at a charred two-story house up the street.
He was talking about 77-year-old Charles Henry. The man's family said he was home when it caught fire just before 8 a.m.
"It also appears that the gentleman might have tried to fight this fire by himself,' said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson. 'And succumbed to the smoke and flames."
"I really hate to see this happen to him,' Grundy said. 'He was really a true neighbor."
Grundy said the two men had lived on Theodosia Avenue near Union Boulevard for 45 years. He was shocked he would never see his friend again.
"I took him to the post office just a couple of days ago,' he remembered.
The man was so beloved in this neighborhood; people rushed out their homes to see what was happening. Then, they started risking their lives.
"Some of the neighbors had tried to make entry because they knew somebody lived there,' Jenkerson nodded toward the families that stretched from one end of the block to the other. "It's a hard loss for the neighborhood. You can tell by all the neighbors that are standing outside. They all knew him."
St. Louis City Police announced that the department`s Bomb and Arson Squad is now leading this investigation. But, a spokesperson said there were no obvious signs of foul play or arson.