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Hoarding may have trapped NC man in deadly fire

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — North Carolina police say a man who died when fire struck his condominium complex may have been trapped inside by the things he’d collected.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police describe 55-year-old Thomas Burgess as a hoarder, and that may have blocked his escape. Police say they found a tremendous amount of combustible materials all over his apartment in Charlotte’s Myers Park section.

Neighbors say they tried to bang on Burgess’s door Monday night but couldn’t get in. Police say the apartment’s door was partially blocked.

A neighbor says Burgess lived in the condo for more than 16 years, and his mother lived there too until her recent death.

Fire investigators believe the blaze started because of an electrical problem.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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