Man dies from house fire in Gretna Wednesday night

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GRETNA, Va. (WDBJ) - "Wow," Amy Moore said as she shook her head and looked at the remains of 190 Blue Ridge Drive.

WDBJ7 Photo

It's a simple expression, but in the face of tragedy, words are hard.

For Moore, seeing Wesley Clay's home destroyed by fire was also hard.

"I feel pain because I don't want to see what he had to go through. Out here by himself. You know he didn't bother nobody, just stayed to himself, a good guy," said Moore.

According to family, Welsey had lived in the trailer off Rt. 29 in Gretna for many years.

Amy helped keep it clean.

"It's hard looking at this house, knowing that I've cleaned it, and now seeing it look like this. It's just terrible," said Moore.

"Terrible," is how officials described it too.

"We don't believe the front door was operational and that's the door he was heading towards. From our investigation the back door is where the fire was so he couldn't have got out the back door," said Michael Lee, the deputy director for Pittsylvania County Public Safety.

The call for the reported structure fire came in at 8:53 PM Wednesday. A neighbor, who is also a family member placed it. According to Lee, the caller reported hearing an explosion before seeing flames.

Three nearby crews responded. Gretna, Renan, and Hurt. Firefighters got the flames out in about an hour, but when they found Wesley, he was already dead.

"There's still a lot of unanswered questions. We're not sure how he heated the structure," said Lee.

While those questions are hard to answer, people like Amy believe Wesley is now in a better place.

"God needed him more than we did. That's the only way I can think of it. God needed him more than us."

Clay's body has been sent to the medial examiner's office in Roanoke.