The home caught fire around two on Monday morning, and despite the attempts of neighbors to pull the man to safety, he died a short time later at University Medical Center.
Now, fire investigators say the tragedy might have been avoided if the house had a smoke detector. That's right, no smoke detector inside this house. The 35-year-old man, Lance Harrison, died of severe smoke inhalation. We're told Harrison was trapped inside for at least 15 minutes before he was pulled out by two police officers.
Two officers smelled a fire but didn't know where it was. Finally, they found the burning house already burning strong. Meanwhile, neighbors tried to Harrison out as best as they could. "We tried to ring the doorbell, knocked on the door tried to get whoever was in the there out. But no one answered. Then five minutes later, the fire department showed up," said neighbor Emily Wolcott.
Deputy Fire Marshal Garret Nelson says Harrison was in bad shape when they pulled him from the house. Nelson says Harrison was probably trapped in the house for a good 15 minutes. "Every breath he took prior to waking up then after waking up was massive carbon monoxide which made it hard for him to act quickly," said Nelson. Nelson says that Harrison was asleep in his bedroom, managed to find his way to the front door where emergency crews found him.
Harrison died at University Medical Center shortly after he was taken in. "I can't believe this happened to him. He was a good guy. Never bothered anybody," said another neighbor.
Nelson says a burning cigarette left on the sofa caused this fire. Nelson adds that the house did not have a smoke detector. Nelson believes it could have saved Harrison's life.