By Pat Loeb and Steve Patterson.

BROOKHAVEN, Pa. (CBS) — Delaware County fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire overnight in Brookhaven that claimed one life and forced four families out of their homes.

Firefighters were called to the 1500 block of Rainer Road about 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

“When I first got there, we had a lot of heavy smoke conditions in the area,” says Chester Township fire chief Jeff Comisiak.

Comisiak says there were no visible flames outside, but inside was an inferno.

“We had received reports of a possible entrapment in the building,” he says, “and once the first in engines arrived we made a rescue effort.”

Comisiak says they did find one victim who was declared dead at the scene.

Fire and smoke damaged four adjoining houses before it was brought under control shortly after 2:30 a.m.

Tiffany Mathews lives next door and had to race to get out with her three children.

“I got the kids,” said Mathews. “We got out as fast as we could. By the time we got out, we tried to bang on [the neighbor’s] door to see if anybody was in the house, but he could have just be asleep.”

The Red Cross was helping the families with emergency services.

The Delaware County Medical Examiner’s office has confirmed the identity of the deceased victim as Shawn Phillip Brodie, 39. The cause of death has been determined as soot and smoke inhalation and extensive thermal burns.

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