Cottage Grove man dies in house fire

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COTTAGE GROVE, Tenn. — Fast moving flames claimed the life of a Henry County man in a fire that broke out around 9:15 p.m. Monday in Cottage Grove. Two people escaped unharmed but the third, who relied on oxygen to breathe, could not make it out. Assistant Fire Chief Shannon Bomar with the Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department said Darrell Crocker, 61, was pronounced dead at the scene. Though firefighters and neighbors tried, no one could get to him. “I didn’t go far, but I had to turn around because the smoke was too bad,” neighbor Barry Jones said. Jones said he knew Crocker and that he was always friendly. “He was a nice person, someone to talk to and what not. I feel kind of sorry for what happened.” Tuesday night, Crocker’s daughter, Heather, visited the house one last time. She said her dad was an Air Force veteran who loved his horses. Milan Wagler lives nearby and said he would see Crocker when he stopped to feed his cows. He said Crocker loved to talk. “Any time you hear of a death, something like this happening, well I hate to see it happen to a neighbor,” Wagler said. Firefighters said the home does not appear salvageable after sustaining severe smoke and water damage. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the cause of the fire but said at this time it does not appear suspicious.

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