Fire Victim Says Faulty Furnace Touched off Devastating Blaze

Fire Victim Says Faulty Furnace Touched off Devastating Blaze

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A fire which destroyed a Town of Pierrepont home Tuesday was likely started by a furnace the home's owner has been trying to replace.

Lorenz Tabacaru has little left. The fire consumed his Wilson Road home and killed seven of his nine chihuahuas. One is still missing, another escaped the fire.

“She got out of the house somehow,” Tabacaru said. “I don't know how. The rest of them were huddled up under, I guess, the bed. That was a safety place for them.”

Tabacaru tells 7News the fire started in a faulty kerosene-fueled furnace. He says it had a tendency to overheat and smoke.

“I didn't see it in the stairwell until I opened the door. And then it just like, exploded,” Tabacaru said.

It's a problem he's been trying to fix. Tabacaru had started a donation campaign through the website, GoFundMe. The Army veteran and former zinc mine worker had been living on $862 a month in Social Security.

When the fire started Tuesday, Tabacaru tried dousing the flames himself at first. A short time later, he raced to find help, and found that help at an intersection down the road. A passerby called 9-1-1.

“I started waving and then she drove by. I turned around to see what... and then I slipped and fell,” Tabacaru said.

Tabacaru says he considers himself lucky. For now, he's staying with his daughter in Russell.

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