By Trang Do


FLORENCE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) – An overnight fire in Florence Township turned tragic as firefighters found a 77-year-old man dead inside his home. The fire also left his daughter injured and displaced their neighbor.

Man Killed, Daughter Injured In Burlington County House Fire

Charlotte Komisky woke up to a missed call from her daughter, Laura Komisky, who was her father’s caretaker.

“It was a message on my phone saying there was a fire, come here as fast as you can, Dad’s dead,” Charlotte Komisky, the fire victim’s ex-wife, said.

Komisky says her ex-husband Bob, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, was a quadriplegic who would have had trouble getting out of the house.

“He was apparently in his wheelchair. That’s what they said, they found him in his wheelchair. He couldn’t move that well,” Komisky said.

The fire broke out just before 2 a.m. at the home on Amboy Avenue. It took more than two hours to extinguish.

“The first arriving officer met heavy fire at the front door. Two of the residents were evacuated, one was not,” Florence Township Police Chief Brian Boldizar said.

Paramedics transported Laura Komisky to Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia with smoke inhalation. A man in an adjoining apartment got out unhurt.

Neighbors say they only wish they could have helped save Laura’s father as well.

“I wish I could have did something. I would have kicked in the doors if it would have been possible. By the time I seen it, the flames were shooting out the window,” neighbor Charles Russell said.

Detectives spent the morning combing through the rubble of the home to try to determine just what sparked the fire that killed a man who was beloved by his family and community.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.