An elderly man died when fire consumed his home in the town of Union this morning.

The State Fire Marshal's office says the body of 80-year-old Lawrence Dries was found in a first floor bathroom. He lived alone in the two-story structure on Route 131 that's one of the oldest houses in Union. Mr. Dries is the former manager of the J.J. Newberry department store in Rockland.

When firefighters arrived, the building was already engulfed in flames. Investigators say the fire started in the kitchen, but the exact cause will never be known because the damage was too great. An excavator was brought in to level the house as crews continued to pour water on the rubble.

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