Authorities say man killed in NY fire made worse by clutter

November 30, 2019 GMT

COLONIE, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a man has died in a house fire in upstate New York that was made worse by clutter.

Police say a neighbor reported a fire at a one-story house in Colonie just after 8 p.m. Friday.

Officials say a hoarding situation hampered efforts to extinguish the fire and search the house. Colonie Deputy Fire Coordinator Michael Romano tells the Albany Times Union that the clutter “made rescue efforts very hard.”

Firefighters eventually found 68-year-old Roger Clemente inside the house. Police say he had died of smoke inhalation.

More than 50 firefighters from several fire area departments battled the blaze. Romano says no first responders were injured.