SUFFOLK -- The Fire Marshal's Office said a fire that killed 47-year-old Joseph Booth early Sunday began accidentally.

Crews got to the home in the 200 block of North Division Street just after 3:30 a.m. and found heavy smoke coming from the back of the house. Firefighters heard several small explosions coming from a motor bike and the propane tank of a grill.

Once they were able to get into the house, they found Booth dead in a bedroom on the second floor.

'We just thank God that he didn't burn up unrecognizable, and if he went in his sleep, peacefully, we thank God for that also, that he didn't suffer,' said Earl Boone, Booth's older brother.

Boone spent Sunday afternoon clearing out the charred remains of his brother's house.

'As you're searching through the house, going through the things of his, you have flashbacks of memories of some of the stuff,' Boone said.

The flames were so intense they scorched the leaves of a tree and shot across to a neighboring house.

'When I opened the door, it looked like the sky was on fire, and I looked next door, and my neighbor's house was on fire,' said Morris Carr, who was forced to evacuate his own home.

Carr and his son are staying with family after the fire damaged their house.

Booth's family plans to spend the next several days trying to salvage what it can from his home.

'Very honest, loving, sharing, caring, very hardworking, always working,' said Deborah Harris who had a daughter with Booth.

'The sad thing is, I know he's gone, but he left a lot of good memories,' Boone said.

Read or Share this story: