Coroner releases identity of man who died in Shively house fire - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Coroner releases identity of man who died in Shively house fire

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Scene of house fire in 2000-block of Kendall Lane in Shively Thursday. Josh Breslow/WDRB News Scene of house fire in 2000-block of Kendall Lane in Shively Thursday. Josh Breslow/WDRB News
Back of home burns on Kendall Lane in Shively Thursday. Rebecca Osborne Riley photo via WDRB News Facebook page. Back of home burns on Kendall Lane in Shively Thursday. Rebecca Osborne Riley photo via WDRB News Facebook page.

SHIVELY, Ky. (WDRB) – Authorities have identified a man found dead after fire destroyed his Shively home Thursday evening.

That man has been identified as 61-year-old Wendell Hawkins, who lived at the home. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:15 p.m. Thursday. He died of burns from the fire.

Neighbors reported the fire, as well as an explosion, on Kendall Lane around 6 p.m.

"Just a loud boom," described Joseph Wooldridge, who lives nearby. "My son said it sounded like somebody blew something up."

Wooldridge says he and his son raced over to the burning home, trying to help Hawkins, who lived alone inside.

"The smoke was everywhere. There was flames coming out of that thing, about 50 foot up on that house," Wooldridge said. "The wires, burning down everywhere. Popping, like gunshots."

An estimated 25 firefighters from Shively and Louisville responded to the fire, finding that Hawkins had not survived.

"As they made their way around to the back of the structure, there was a victim outside that had passed away," said Chief Greg Cambron with the Shively Fire Department.

Chief Cambron says it appeared the man’s death was the direct result of the fire.

Having spoken to Hawkins over ham radio, hours earlier, Keith Strange says he arrived at the house Thursday to bring him a part for his radio. He was shocked to find the house was destroyed, and devastated to learn the man he called "neighbor" had died.

"If somebody needed something done, he was there for them," Strange described. "Cleaning off driveways for snow, or whatever. He was there. And a good friend, I just lost."

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