SMITHMILL — A Gulich Township man died Saturday evening as the result of a structure fire that began in the garage where he was working on a vehicle.
The fire quickly spread to the attached residence.
Clearfield County Coroner Kim Shaffer Snyder identified the deceased as Troy Breon, 54, of 36 Simpson St. in the community of Smithmill. Shaffer said the cause of death was due to smoke inhalation sustained in the fire.
Ramey Vol. Fire Co. was dispatched to Simpson Street at 7:25 p.m. for an ECHO response for a working structure fire with entrapment.
According to Ramey Deputy Fire Chief Matt Jordan, firefighters saw heavy fire coming from the garage which was then extended to the residence. Jordan immediately called for a second alarm.
Firefighters were initially unable to perform a search and rescue due to heavy fire conditions in the single-story ranch home, Jordan said. Additionally, propane tanks were heard exploding at the scene.
For the initial attack, fire crews entered the residence for a search and rescue and to provide fire suppression.
At this time, firefighters also removed a garage door from the garage area of the structure and found Breon just inside the door. Breon was working on a pickup truck inside the garage at the time of the fire and was unable to escape.
The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time and remains under investigation by a state police fire marshal.
The structure and contents of the vehicle and garage are a total loss including the pickup truck that was inside of the garage. There was also heat damage to the siding of a neighboring residence. The structure was insured.
About 50 to 60 firefighters were on scene to fight the blaze. Numerous fire companies responded from Clearfield, Cambria, Centre and Blair counties. Assisting Ramey VFC were volunteer firefighters from Chester Hill Hose Co., Columbia VFC of Osceola Mills, Houtzdale VFC, Madera VFC, Glen Hope VFC, Irvona VFC, Glendale VFC of Coalport, Hope VFC of Philipsburg, Reade Township VFC Station 63, Neptune VFC Hookies of Tyrone. Rescue Hose and Ladder Station 8 of Curwensville was on standby for Madera VFC.