Deadly house fire in Colonial Heights under investigation

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - A retired Marine is dead after a deadly house fire in Colonial Heights.

The fire started around 5:40 a.m. Friday in the 300 block of Prince Albert Avenue.

Police were the first to arrive on the scene. When they got there, they pulled an elderly man out of the home. The victim, 67-year-old Robert Stewart Emory, died at the scene.

The home appears to be completely destroyed. The fire department had to gain access to the home through his neighbor's duplex.

People who live in this neighborhood say they are completely devastated that something like this happened. It's an awful way to start the Memorial Day weekend.

"I tell you, it just makes you think how fortunate you are and how blessed you are when you wake up every morning," said neighbor Howard Dunnavant. "You got your health and you are safe, you know. You never know 'til it strikes close to home."

Investigators say the fire appears to be accidental, caused by smoking.

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