CAIRO — An investigation into a fatal house fire Saturday morning in Cairo has been launched, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Firefighters discovered the body of a man as they were opening walls and ceilings to search for traces of possible hot spots.

The person killed in the fire has been tentatively identified as a 69-year-old man who was the sole occupant of the mobile home, according to the statement from the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators are not releasing the name of the man until his next-of-kin is notified. An autopsy was performed Monday morning and the cause of death has been determined as smoke inhalation.

The fire, which broke out at 886 Old Route 23, had quickly spread through the mobile home when first responders arrived shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday. The blaze was reported to police by a passerby at 8:58 a.m.

The man was believed to be resting at the time of the fire, police said. It’s unclear at this time in what part of the house the fire started.

Although the fire remains under investigation, police do not suspect foul play.

Fire, police and ambulance crews worked in frigid temperatures to douse the flames. It took around four hours to extinguish the fire. Because of the bitterly cold temperatures, the Greene County Hazardous Materials Team was called in to provide a warming tent.

“Our members are really cold, pumps are freezing, so that is our biggest hassle right now,” Cairo Fire Chief Ray Feml said at the scene Saturday.

Eight fire companies provided mutual aid and battled the fire. Cairo, Round Top, Leeds, East Durham, Freehold, Greenville, Oak Hill-Durham and Windham fire departments responded to the scene along with Greene County Paramedics and Cairo Ambulance personnel.

The fire is being investigated by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Greene County Cause and Origin Team and the Hazmat team. The Greene County Fire Investigation Team and state fire investigators also were called to the scene.

The sheriff’s office is being assisted by state police and the Cairo Police Department.

Lance Wheeler contributed to this report.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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