Richard "Dicky" Hilton died in a house fire early Friday morning.
GOODLETTSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
An 84-year-old man died Friday morning in a Goodlettsville house fire.
Richard "Dicky" Hilton was found lying on the floor unconscious when firefighters arrived just after midnight, and flames were shooting from the sunroom.
One neighbor said he saw the flames and knew the man lived alone. He said he ran over and started banging on the door, but no one answered, so he assumed no one was home.
"You almost want to open the door and go inside," Nicholas Short, the man's neighbor, said. "It's a scary feeling. You don't never hope for anybody to be caught in a house like that."
Hilton had lived in the home since 1956, according to family members. Nancy, his wife of 61 years, died in August 2012.
While investigators try to figure out what caused the fire, the victim's family is still trying to process their loss.
"They called me at midnight and said they couldn't get a hold of him," said daughter Nancy Wilson.
Crews were called to the home after getting not one but two emergency calls - one from a neighbor and another from the 84 year old great-grandfather himself. Hilton had a medic alert pin, but the flames moved so fast and heat was so intense, help wouldn't come in time.
"It would be tough for somebody to come out of a situation like this due to the thickness of the smoke and the chemicals that's in the smoke," said Goodlettsville Fire Capt. Dean Birdwell.
Wilson said she can't believe she'll never see her father again or hear his voice, his stories and his laughter.
"I miss the heck out of him. I was daddy's girl," she said. "He was always laughing and cutting up and loved to tell jokes."
Wilson said memories came rushing back after getting the news her father died in the very home the retired engineer designed and built for her mother in 1953.
"He never finished high school and went into the service. Never finished high school and yet he was one of the smartest men I've ever known in my life," Wilson said.
Investigators believe the fire started in the sunroom. At this point, it doesn't look suspicious but they are continuing to investigate.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:14 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:14:20 GMT
A father is facing charges after police said he left his young kids in a hot car Monday in the Gulch area downtown. Police said the dad, Tranquilo Camaja-Lajon, went to orientation for a new job and broughtMore >>
A father is facing charges after police said he left his young kids in a hot car Monday in the Gulch area of downtown.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:28 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:28:00 GMT
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating a high-speed chase that came to a deadly end over the weekend, and police say as far as they can tell it was all over a speeding ticket. Shelbyville officersMore >>
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating a high-speed chase that came to a deadly end over the weekend, and police say as far as they can tell it was all over a speeding ticket.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:04 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:04:33 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
The tornado, with winds up to 200 mph, cut a 20-mile stretch as wide as two miles through the Oklahoma City metro area. The medical examiner's office reported 24 people died, including nine children. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:00 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:00:18 GMT
Power was knocked out to thousands of residents in Nashville overnight after a truck slammed into a pole on White Bridge Road. The crash happened at about 10:50 p.m. Monday near Corbett Lane. As of 6More >>
Power was knocked out to hundreds of residents in Nashville overnight after a truck slammed into a pole on White Bridge Road.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:36 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:36:49 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >>
Dozens of people have died after a second day of tornadoes twisted through Oklahoma, this time taking aim at the town of Moore, south of Oklahoma City.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:51 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:51:28 GMT
Ominous clouds over Hendersonville
There is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms for northwest Middle Tennessee Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. The biggest threat will be west of a line from Waynesboro to Springfield, TN. An upperMore >>