WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - Flames and smoke poured out of the row house next door to Rob Boyd. He called 9-1-1 right after he and his roommate realized there was nothing they could do. The home of the elderly man who lived next door was fully engulfed in flames.
"It's definitely a sad situation for something like this to happen right before Thanksgiving," said Boyd.
When Robb and his roommate saw their neighbor's white pickup truck parked across the street, they were worried he didn't make it out.
Deputy Fire Chief Edward Pearson said neighbors told them said that they had spoken to the man earlier in the day and that he had said he was going to cook a turkey. It was the last time anybody saw him.
Fire officials have not determined yet how the fire started, or whether the man was cooking at the time, but they do say his hoarding behavior was a huge problem. The piles of old clothing and furniture turned into fuel for the fire... and prevented firefighters from getting inside.
They had to pull out a burning piece of furniture to make a path through the hallway. Once inside, they found the man's body under a couch. His neighbor Waddell Jackson says he tried to warn his friend about all the junk.
"I guess two months ago, I told him he had to throw out some of that junk . I guess that it made him happy or something."