MELVINDALE, Mich. - A 52-year-old Melvindale man wasn't able to escape the flames Tuesday morning when his house caught fire.
Fire officials on the scene in the 17000 block of Hanna Street said it appears four oxygen tanks in the home exploded and the victim, William Garrett Kristian, had a hard time getting out because there was so much stuff in the home.
"The back door was, I'll use the term welded shut," said Melvindale Fire Chief Steven Densmore.
He said the house was piled high with books, boxes and bags.
The home's roof was blown open and the windows busted out.
Through tears, neighbor Diane Selders told Local 4 she was jolted awake by a boom and then saw flames coming from Kristian's home. She said she tried to throw rocks at the windows to wake her friend up.
"My best friend of 35 years. I had just seen him at 9:30 p.m.,"Selders said. "He would take his shift of his back for you. He'd do anything. He helped everybody."
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