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Elderly Man Killed In New Hampshire House Fire

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GOFFSTOWN, N.H. (CBS) – A fire swept through a home in Goffstown early Tuesday morning, trapping and killing an elderly man.

The flames broke out just after 7 a.m. in the four-unit building on Church Street.

All but one of the residents escaped safely

Roger Audet, who was said to be in his 80’s, and had lived there for years was trapped.

Even though the house is just up the street from a fire station, firefighters, neighbors and Audet’s son couldn’t get him out in time.

The flames were too intense.

“It was like an inferno, they were shooting out of everywhere. It was crazy,” one witness told WBZ-TV.

Audet was found dead when firefighters finally got inside his first floor apartment.

His son, Larry Audet, said he’d left the house early to take a relative to the airport.

When he got back, the building was on fire.

“I tried to go in. I got about five or six feet and I couldn’t breathe anymore. So I couldn’t go all the way back where he was or I would have been burned myself,” Audet said.

Goffstown’s fire chief said it’s too early to know how the fire started. But because of the building’s construction, the fire was hidden in the walls and spread quickly.

“The fire was blowing out the front windows to the sidewalk, to give you an idea of how far the fire was advancing through the building,” Fire Chief Richard O’Brien said.

It’s unkown if there were working smoke detectors. But Audet was deaf and wouldn’t have been able to hear them.

He had three children and had recently lost his wife.

But his son, still in shock, said his dad lived a good life.

“He was a real nice guy.  Everybody loved him.  He made a lot of people laugh.”

The state fire marshal is looking into the cause of the fire, but there is no sign of foul play.

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