Cherokee County man who loved his cat is dead after fire breaks out near ‘cat house’ on his porch

A Cherokee County, SC man was found unresponsive in a rear bedroom on Christmas Eve night. As it turns out, he had provided a homemade structure on his porch for a cat he cared for and loved and the lamp caused the cat house to catch on fire.

Joseph William McCluney (courtesy of family)

Joseph William McCluney, 85 was bound to a wheelchair. He had an alert system used by many who are disabled that sent off an alert to his daughter but she wasn’t able to reach him in time.

According to Cherokee County coroner Jeff Fowler, the Gaffney Fire Department responded to the single story, wood frame cabin around 10 p.m. where they found the house fully engulfed.

It was announced Wednesday the heat lamp placed inside for the cat to stay warm appears to have fallen and ignited materials inside the house, Fire Marshal Billy Bishop reported.

There was no smoke detector in the home. Bishop believes because of Mr. McCluney’s disability he wouldn’t have been able to escape the home in time.

Smoke detectors are installed free by the Gaffney Fire Department (as is true for most fire departments in the U.S.) All you have to do is give your local fire department a call.

An autopsy is planned to find the precise cause of death. That poor man. Please take a lesson from this story and be very careful how you heat ANYTHING on your property. Most fires are caused when the heat source gets too close to something flammable.

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