Home catches fire, elderly man found dead

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An elderly East Texas man is found dead after his home catches fire.

Investigators found 73-year-old Hal Junior Smith in his home at the intersection of FM 848 and Spur 248 in Chapel Hill Saturday afternoon. Fire investigators said Smith was surrounded by candles and propane-fueled camp stoves. Smith's neighbors said he lived a Spartan existence.

"I've been worried that something like this would happen. I didn't know how he was heating his house or anything like that," said neighbor Evelyn Leggette.

Neighbors also said they heard an explosion, and investigators said Smith may have left the stove on.

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