NASHVILLE — An elderly man perished in a fire at his house along Sykes Road northwest of Nashville early Sunday morning, the town's fire chief said.
The victim is believed to be William Sherrod, 84, Nash County Chief Deputy Brandon Medina said in a press release. The plan is for an autopsy to be performed at the regional medical examiner’s office in Greenville, Medina said.
Chief Chris Joyner told the Telegram he is withholding providing the man's name for the time being, citing the need to make certain the man's next of kin have been notified.
Joyner said the man had been living alone in the house, which was at 3315 Sykes.
Firefighters received the call from the emergency operator at approximately 1:30 a.m.
Joyner said the house had been burning for a bit and said firefighters quickly attacked the fire, but he said the fire destroyed the structure.
Joyner said firefighters and investigators remained at the scene until approximately 10:30 a.m. and said foul play has been ruled out as a cause of the fire.
He said a probe is continuing, but he said he and investigators believe the cause of the fire was accidental.
He said he did not know the man, but he said his information is the house had been the man's residence for close to 50 years and said the structure was nearly a century old.
As for what is believed to have happened prior to the man's death, Joyner said, "We think he had gone to sleep — and we think that he had probably gotten up."
Joyner said the man slept in the front part of the house and said the fire started in the right back corner of the house, where there would have been a pantry and a bathroom area.
Joyner said the thinking is the man, after having gotten up, became disoriented.
He said his information is neighbors began hearing what sounded like booms and said the first calls to the emergency operator were about suspicious loud noises.
He said a passerby phoned in about flames being visible in the area.
He said the thinking is because the man's truck was parked outside the house, the truck also caught on fire and the truck's tires began exploding.
He also said power lines were found down on the ground.
The house was approximately five miles northwest of downtown Nashville.
In addition to the Nashville Fire Department, the Red Oak Volunteer Fire Department, the Castalia Volunteer Fire Department and Nash County Emergency Medical Services responded.
Joyner also said the Nash County Sheriff's Office, the Nash County Fire Marshal's Office and an arson investigator with the Office of the State Fire Marshal responded.