SCHUYLER FALLS - An elderly man was found dead inside his Peasleeville Road home during a house fire Jan. 31.
According to state police, Edward A. Brousseau, 82, was evacuated from his home at 1824 Peasleeville Road after emergency personnel responded to a call that came into Clinton County Fire Control at 2:41 p.m. Emergency dispatchers were contacted by Clinton County Highway Department personnel after a fire was discovered at Brousseau's residence.
Responding fire departments entered the residence and discovered Brousseau lying on the floor. He was evacuated from the house, but was found deceased.
Clinton County Coroner David F. Donah responded to the scene, officially declaring his time of death at 4:15 p.m. Brousseau was transported to CVPH Medical Center, Plattsburgh, by Brown Funeral Home where an autopsy was scheduled to be performed Feb. 1.
The home was declared a total loss.
Martha Burns, a neighbor of Brousseau for 22 years, said when she heard word of his death she was "flabbergasted."
"I didn't hear about it until I got home from work. I didn't believe it," she said.
Burns said she wasn't close to Brousseau, but remembers watching him working in his garden, mowing the lawn or haying the fields.
"Every time I saw him I waved. He always waved back. He was very friendly," she said. "It's really too bad."
Burns said she knew Brousseau, a retired correctional officer from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, lived at the residence alone after his wife, Gladys M., passed away last April. Burns added she remembers Brousseau visited his wife regularly at Meadowbrook Healthcare in Plattsburgh, the nursing home where she resided until her death.
Another of Brousseau's neighbors, who asked not to be identified, knew little about him, but called news of his death "tragic."
"I would be walking and see him on his porch reading his paper," the neighbor said, adding she had no interaction with him beyond that.
Clinton County fire investigators and state police have launched a joint investigation to determine the cause and origin of the fire.