HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico fire officials are still trying to figure out what caused an early Sunday morning fire that killed one man.
The blaze broke out around 2:15 a.m. on the 1100 block of Thorncroft Drive in Glen Allen.
Authorities have not released the name of the victim.
When firefighters arrived they found the house almost completely engulfed.
They saw a car in the driveway and feared someone could be inside the burning building.
But they couldn't immediately go in to begin search and rescue efforts, because the blaze was out of control.
The house is reduced to rubble.
The roof collapsed, windows blown out, appliances charred beyond recognition, and inside a life lost in the flames.
Sheri Cogle lives in the house next door.
"It's kind of a shock that goes through your system," she said.
Firefighters arrived on scene just five minutes after a 911 call from a neighbor.
Fire was shooting out of every window.
The flames reaching almost 25 feet above the roof.
"It's burned from end to end and top to bottom and the roof is completely destroyed," said Henrico fire Capt. Chris Buehren.
Fire marshals say they found the victim in the living room, close to the front door.
It appears he was trying to escape but never made it.
"He was really nice," said Cogle. "He was quiet and he always kept his yard really nice, took very good care of his house and was always out in the yard doing things."
Fire marshals have been sifting through the rubble for hours but with this kind of devastation it often takes more time to put the pieces together to find a cause.
"We have to go back and sift through all that debris and try to recreate the living space, the kitchen area, the hallway, the bedrooms and find out exactly what was where," said Capt. Buehren.
They say the blaze ignited in the kitchen and was under control in about an hour.
The question remains, what exactly happened before firefighters got here that cost one man his life?
"It will just be really sad not to see him out there," said Cogle. "It makes me sad and makes you want to hug your family a little bit more."
Two other family members lived inside the house, but were not home last night.
The family dogs, who were outside at the time, are also safe.
Firefighters say the home was equipped with smoke detectors.