Authorities say that a man who was pulled from a burning room at a home in Fairview Township was already dead when the fire started, Wednesday April 2,
Authorities say that a man who was pulled from a burning room at a home in Fairview Township was already dead when the fire started, Wednesday April 2, 2014. John A. Pavoncello - jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com (John A. Pavoncello)

A Fairview Township man found dead in a house fire Wednesday morning most likely died before the small fire started in his second-floor apartment, York County Chief Deputy Coroner Claude Stabley said.

"It's a possible suicide," he said, adding there are "indicators of suicide" on the victim's body.

Stabley has not yet determined the cause or manner of death. He said he does not suspect foul play and will release the man's name Thursday.

Stabley said the victim is an older man who lived in the second-floor apartment of a home in the 600 block of Pleasant View Road.

The owner of the property, who lives on the first floor, called 911 after spotting the fire, then grabbed a garden hose and climbed onto a lower roof of his home, according to Fairview Township Fire Chief Chris Weidenhammer.

Firefighters were called to a home in the 600 block of Pleasant View Road Wednesday morning.
Firefighters were called to a home in the 600 block of Pleasant View Road Wednesday morning. (John A. Pavoncello)

Garden hose: The owner, whose name has not been released, sprayed water through his tenant's bedroom window.

"He did a darn good job keeping the fire in check," Weidenhammer said. "It definitely helped."

Flames were contained to the second-floor bedroom where the body was found, according to township fire Lt. Bill Carlisle.

The house sustained about $35,000 in damage and is repairable, Weidenhammer said, but is currently uninhabitable due to water damage. The bedroom where the fire started was destroyed, he said.

Firefighters were called to the home just after 10 a.m.

Good Samaritans: Before they arrived, the homeowner and two passing Pennsylvania American Water Co. employees found the victim in his room and carried him downstairs, according to Carlisle, at which point they realized he was already dead.

"They were driving by ... and noticed the fire," Weidenhammer said of the water-company workers who ran into the burning house. "They're brave guys for sure."

Stabley said he an autopsy on the victim's body is set for 8 a.m. Thursday at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital

He confirmed the fire started near the body, and Weidenhammer confirmed he was told there were smoking materials in the room.

Not arson: Trooper Bradley Dunham, a state police fire marshal, investigated and said he found no evidence accelerants were used to start the fire.

Loki, an arson-detection dog from Dauphin County, helped make that determination, the trooper said.

Dunham said he has not yet determined what started the fire, but said it's not suspicious.

The York-Adams Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the owner, who drove away without speaking to reporters.

-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.