Oxygen Tank and Cigarettes May Be Cause of Deadly Fire

July 20, 2011 Updated Jul 20, 2011 at 12:21 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

...
July 20, 2011 Updated Jul 20, 2011 at 12:21 PM EDT

Kenmore, N.Y. (WKBW)- A man dies after a fire took over his studio apartment in Kenmore. Now other residents in the apartment complex are speaking out about the horrific experience.

"Four fireman had him by his hands and feet and took him out of the building. Some of his clothes were torn off and he was covered with black smoke," resident Matthew McCornell said.

Resident Matthew McCornell describes what he saw as the victim Donald Dake, 62, was pulled from a fire at the Ken Dev apartments on Delaware Avenue early Wednesday morning. Dake was pronounced dead just minutes later.

"It's a sad thing I don't like to see that at all. It's still bothering me now," McCornell said.

Kenmore Police said Dake was on oxygen but was also smoking at the time of the incident. They believe that may be the cause of the fire that lit part of Dakes couch, rug and his shirt on fire. They said the fire was contained Dake's apartment so no one else was hurt.

Debra McClure was Dake's in-home nurse. She said his death is devastating to the entire community.

"He was a very nice man and very accommodating, polite. I couldn't ask for a better client. I feel so bad this happened to him. It's a shock," McClure said.

McClure said Dake was a Vietnam Veteran who was injured in the war. He also suffered from server heart and lung diseases. She said although he was a sick man, he positive attitude was contagious.

"Monday he said was the sunshine of his life and it really made me feel good," McClure said.

Unfortunately, McClure said that positive light was put out much too soon.

Police say an autopsy is being performed on Dake to find the exact cause of death. They also continue to investigate the fire.