Man killed in Somerset house fire; neighbor attempted rescue

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SOMERSET, Ky. (WKYT) - They had to pull him through a bedroom window to try to rescue him from a burning home.

But Thursday investigators say it came too late to save a southern Kentucky man's life.

One man says him and Arthur Jackson were just neighbors who were kind to each other, but Thursday, that meant one trying to save the other's life from a burning home.

"I look up, and I see black smoke just rolling and it was coming around the house," said Shaun Swift, who lives across the street from the Jackson family. "At first I thought it was our house, but as I got up to the top of the hill, I noticed that it was the next door neighbor's house."

Shaun Swift says he immediately dialed 911 as he ran across the street just as Arthur Jackson's wife and sons pulled up in their vehicle from the grocery store.

"I asked, 'Where's your old man?' to his wife, and she said, 'He's still inside.' And I said, 'Where?' And she said, 'The bedroom!' So her youngest son and I broke out the window," said Swift.

But they say seeing anything through the smoke and flames was impossible. And that it was just too far gone.

"It was so black and hot," said Swift. "You really couldn't see anything."

The Pulaski County Coroner says 51-year-old Jackson died at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital of smoke inhalation.

Since the news of Jackson dying, Swift says he's had a hard time forgiving himself that he wasn't able to get Jackson out sooner.

"I'm truly sad this happened on Valentine's Day, and our family prayers are for his family," said Swift.

But Swift says this experience has taught him and his family a valuable lesson.

"It makes you realize how easy life can be taken away from ya," said Swift.

The cause of this house fire is still under investigation.

A neighbor tells us that was the second fire in that home and that the family was in the process of re-doing their garage after that fire a few years ago.

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