Dry Fork, VA-- A Pittsylvania County man is dead after his house caught fire. It happened around 1:30 a.m. Saturday on Douglas Drive. Officials with the Sheriff's Office said the flames were so high and so hot, that crews could not enter the home.James Rust and Pamela Gravitt live right next door to the house that burned down. They said they are still in shock that they've lost a close friend. But, have used this as a learning experience, and are now taking extra precautions."I mean, I went out the front door and I turned to go toward his house and it was like... the devastation... it just floored me," said Rust.
"I could see the flames on the other side of the tree from the porch and the grass was on fire spreading to our house," said Gravitt.
Flames engulfed the home on Douglas Drive by the time fire crews arrived on the scene. The roof collapsed, making it too dangerous to go inside.
"There was no way I could get to any part of the house, so I just grabbed a hose pipe and started to try and keep the fire from spreading through the woods," said Rust.
To have an idea of just how high the flames were, it scorched the tree right behind the house, that folks said is about 100 feet high."
"I think about what if, what if , what if, but it was too far gone. There nothing nobody could do," said Gravitt.
The Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office identified the person who died in the home as 58-year-old Darryl Shively.
"Very nice person. Easy getting along with. Easy going. He'd give you the shirt off his back," said Rust.
Hours after the fire, Rust changed batteries in all the smoke detectors in his home. He said he's taking extra precautions against another tragedy on Douglas Drive.
"I've got at least one fire extinguisher in the house as well. I never really realized how close or how quick it could happen until it happened to my next door neighbor," said Rust.
Shively's body was taken the medical examiner's office.
The Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, and there were no signs of foul play.