UPPER DARBY — A 43-year-old township man is dead and at least 10 others are displaced following a two-alarm fire Saturday afternoon on Aberdeen Road, according to officials.
"We’re investigating it," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said. "Preliminary, it looks like a tragic accident."
Chitwood said around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, two men were working on a Range Rover in the driveway in front of the garage, which is in front of the house at 6962 Aberdeen Road.
"Apparently, one of the two takes the gasoline out of the gas tank," he said. "One guy takes gasoline and pours it into a container and it ignites."
As one of the men ran across the street to call 911, that man – the 43-year-old resident of the home – dodged inside the house to try to save his wife, Chitwood said.
"(He) tries to get into the doorway to save his wife, who's in the house,” the superintendent said. "He don’t make it ... The fire overcomes him, the smoke just overcomes him."
Chitwood assessed the situation.
"The wife gets out," he said. "The woman made her way out. She was distraught. The friend, he's safe. The only person that gets hurt is the 43-year-old resident, he dies."
No identifications were being released Saturday evening.
Chitwood said at least 10 residents in homes near the fire need to be relocated indefinitely due to the extent of damage done.
"Residents on either side are displaced," he said, adding that house at 6962 Aberdeen Road is "totally destroyed."
Chitwood said the fire was extinguished by the Upper Darby Fire Department and that the American Red Cross came to the scene to help with temporary housing arrangements.
"It's a tragic accident," the superintendent said.