By Ben Kleppinger
10:56 AM EST, December 14, 2012
CRAB ORCHARD — A Crab Orchard man died this morning in a house fire along Pine Grove Road, officials said.
Teddy Lee Day, 61, did not survive a blaze that began at hishomein the early morning hours around 1 or 2 a.m.
Lincoln County Fire Chief Danny Glass said Day's home was completely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene.
It took around an hour and a half to extinguish the blaze, he said.
Family members gathered next door at the home of Day's son and daughter-in-law, Shawn and Brandy Day, as they began dealing with the tragedy.
"We knew he was in there, we just didn't know where," Brandy Day said.
Glass said Teddy Day's body was found shortly after 4 a.m.
Brandy Day said his body was found "slouched" by a loveseat in the living room, right next to the body of his dog and "best friend in the whole world," Pepper.
Brandy Day said her father-in-law regularly slept in the living room, but he apparently wasn't found where he would have been sleeping.
"He must have woke up but the heat got to him," she said.
Teddy Day, who turned 61 on Tuesday, was a retired plumber and veteran who had served as an Army medic in the 70s, family members said.
His siblings said he was closest to his grandchildren, including Tyler Day, 7, and Christopher Day, 12.
Tyler and Christopher would hang out with their grandfather daily, talking about knives, old coins and fishing, Brandy Day said.
Lincoln County Coroner Farris Marcum was taking Teddy Day's body to Frankfort this morning for an autopsy, officials said.
A state police arson investigator and someone with the state fire marshal's office responded to the scene, but officials said an arson investigation is standard practice whenever someone dies in a fire. Arson is not suspected.
No official cause for the fire has been determined.
Teddy Day's family members will just have to take things "day by day" as they deal with the loss, Brandy Day said.
"My husband is not taking it too well," she said. "He was a good guy — too young to pass away."