1 person dies in early morning Etoile house fire

1 person dies in early morning Etoile house fire

ETOILE, TX (KTRE) - One person died in an Etoile house fire that occurred early Monday morning.

According to Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges, neighbors were awakened by what they described as loud explosions coming from a home on Lake Side Drive in Etoile at about 3 a.m. Monday. They could see that the mobile home was on fire, Bridges said.

The Etoile and Woden volunteer fire departments battled the blaze, which started at about 3 a.m. Monday. The home was fully engulfed when the fire departments arrived on the scene, Bridges said.

"After the fire was extinguished a search was conducted and one body was found inside the residence," a press release from the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office stated. "Investigators have found that there was no electricity hooked up to the house. Investigators have received information from a witness, that the person living at the residence had just purchased a heater."

The press release stated that it appeared as though the person inside the home had just hooked the heater up to one of the propane tanks inside the house.

"At this time, investigators have found no indication of foul play, and evidence at the scene indicates that the heater was not hooked up properly," the press release stated.

Bridges said the man's body was sent to Tyler for an autopsy.

"We are certain we have identified the person who was found inside the residence, but until we make positive identification, we are withholding the name of that person," Bridges said. "An autopsy will be conducted on the person in Tyler, Texas. It may be several days before full identification is made.

There was no electricity at the house, Bridges said.

"It was very scary. You're standing there watching, and it's sad. very sad," said Sylvia Tompkins, a neighbor.

The loud noises the neighbors heard were propane tanks exploding, Bridges said.

"We heard a boom. Couple minutes before that and didn't think nothing of it. I mean this is the country," Tompkins said.

Investigators are still working at the scene to determine the cause of the fire. The State Fire Marshal's Office is assisting the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office in investigating the fire.

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