Apartment Complex Fire Claims Life of Elderly Man

December 2, 2011 Updated Dec 2, 2011 at 7:58 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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December 2, 2011 Updated Dec 2, 2011 at 7:58 PM EDT

Village of Lancaster, NY (WKBW) -Lancaster Police have confirmed with Eyewitness News a Friday morning fire at the Lancaster Towers Apartments has claimed the life of a 76-year-old man. Fire crews responded to the senior living complex located on Pleasant Avenue West in the Village of Lancaster before 10 a.m. Fire investigators believe the blaze started in an apartment on the 5th floor and discovered the tenant, 76-year-old Richard Clabeaux, dead inside. No one else was hurt. There is still no official cause for the fire and the investigation continues.

"When there's a death in our town, we are very close family, so it's a sad start to the holidays," said Lancaster Supervisor Robert Giza.

Residents at the Lancaster Towers were removed from their apartments and remained at a nearby recreational center while police and fire crews investigated.

"It was scary because I need the elevator to walk and I had to walk down 7 flights of stairs, so it was scary," said Maryann Bromley, who lives on the 7th floor of the complex.

Police are waiting for autopsy results to determine how Clabeaux died. The complex did receive extensive water and smoke damage to a few floors, but police say 85% of the tenants are back in their homes. Officials and the Red Cross are assisting the remaining displaced residents.