Authorities identify man killed in Arden house fire

Photo: Frank Abrams

The Skyland Fire Department has identified the man who was killed in Sunday's fire at an Arden home.

Seventy-one-year-old Gregg Belknap of Forest Ridge Drive lost his life in the fire. According to Chief Ryan Cole, Belknap most likely died from smoke inhalation before firefighters arrived.

Currently, authorities do not know any definitive cause of the fire, and say there was nothing suspicious at the scene.

Investigators combed the scene of the fatal fire, which involved an explosion. The fire appeared to have started in a garage below an office where firefighters found Belknap's body.

Neighbors reported hearing two explosions, which firefighters said were from two propane tanks exploding in the garage.

Belknap's wife was outside in the yard as the fire engulfed part of their home.

Joseph Warren, a neighbor, said he saw more than half a dozen fire trucks lined along the road after hearing an explosion.

"It was a big boom. It must've been a propane tank or something substantial that exploded. It certainly sounded loud enough to take the windows out of the house," Warren said.

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