Fatal Fire Shocks Oak Orchard Community - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fatal Fire Shocks Oak Orchard Community

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OAK ORCHARD, Del. - Vincent Vendetti said he was touched by an angel.

It was just after 3:00 a.m. Friday morning, and Vendetti said he felt a tugging at his sheets. When he opened his eyes, his "guardian angel" was gone, but he saw something far more sinister.

"I noticed smoke coming out of the crawl space up here," he said.

WBOC joined Vendetti in his apartment Friday afternoon, located on the 28,000 block of Delaware Avenue in the Oak Orchard area. It's the sole room left standing, after an early morning fire destroyed the other five rooms, and made his room uninhabitable. Soon after he left the room, smoke billowed in, causing extensive damage.

"More people could have died," he said.

The blaze killed one of the five residents, as well as a dog in another apartment. The Fire Marshal's office has not yet reported the name of the victim. The office is currently investigating the cause of the fire.

Neighbor David Cupery said he knew the victim well.

"She was like a second mother to me," he said. "And it's just sad it had to happen."

The Fire Marshall estimated that there was $100,000 worth of damage to the apartments. This is the third fatal fire this year in Delaware. Already there have been two in Sussex County alone.

"It's terrible," said Cupery. "That was her home."

Neighbor Michelle Weigand said she awoke to see the flames rising.

"Just a horrible way to die," she said. "It's just so emotional to describe."

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