VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Fire investigators said smoking materials may have started a fire Wednesday that killed 68-year-old Edward "Ted" M. Wood.
Wood and one other person were inside the town house in the 400 block of Cadbury Circle when the fire started just before 11 p.m.
Axie Brooks said she woke up to bone-chilling screams coming from across the street.
“It was like she was just screaming for her life,” said Brooks. “Seeing her just, she was going crazy, I mean, she just didn’t know what to do. She was crying.”
Brooks said the woman was the person who was inside the home with the 68-year-old and that the woman was his caretaker. Neighbors said Wood was disabled and his bed was on the first floor of the home.
“He was having a cigarette which was a custom, apparently, that he would do every night,” said neighbor Michael Wysong. “He called for help, and she came down and saw the bed on fire, and that was it.”
Spokesman for the Virginia Beach Fire Department Art Kohn said investigators still were trying to determine the cause of the fire, but they did believe that smoking materials may have been involved.
Rick Wysong said the caretaker returned to the town house Thursday morning and showed him the damage inside the home.
"You can see the smoke. It just covered the walls," Wysong explained. "Just looking at the bed, you could tell the heat had to be intense. All that was left was bed springs from the bed, and I was thinking to myself, 'Wow. This guy, really is you know, bedridden. He really didn't have a chance. It's just really sad."
Two police officers who tried to help Wood and his caretaker had to go to the hospital to be treated for minor smoke inhalation.