Upper Darby man dies in house fire

An elderly man died last night trying to escape from his burning home in Upper Darby, police said.

Firefighters found the body of Edwin Duncan, 78, near a window in the dining room of his home on Westwood Lane near Penn Pines Boulevard about 9:30 p.m., Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

"Apparently, he was trying to get out, but couldn't," Chitwood said. "Passersby told officers they could hear him screaming for help."

Smoke inhalation was ruled as the cause of Duncan's death, Chitwood said. What caused the fire is still under investigation, but several space heaters that were found in the home in the wake of the fire may have played a factor.

It's clear that the fire, however it was started, was "accidental," Chitwood said. He described Duncan as a "hoarder of items," and said that at least a dozen cats also perished in the blaze.