KENNEDY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A fire in Kennedy Township Thursday morning left one man dead.

According to officials at the scene, the fire happened at the Ahavath Achim Cemetery on Green Oak Drive around 6:30 a.m.

Andrew Gupp, 97, had worked at the cemetery for decades.

Police officers were the first to arrive and rushed into the burning building to try and save the man inside, but it was simply too late.

“He was found right inside the doorway, approximately five feet, so that could be indicative of the individual trying to escape from the structure,” Allegheny County Dept. Of Emergency Services Chief Alvin Henderson said.

Gupp was the longtime cemetery caretaker. From cutting the grass to maintaining the graves, he did it all.

“Especially with people on this street, everybody said he was always out, he talked to everybody, he was very sociable, very friendly,” Kennedy Township Fire Department Capt. Justin Gutt said.

“He’s been here since, God, I don’t even know, 60 some odd years. He’s been the caretaker here, he’s lived here all that time, he was the cemetery to us,” Martin Jacobs, the cemetery’s president, said.

Jacobs, says the loss is devastating because Gupp, just recently developed some health problems that required him to be on oxygen.

“Up until maybe a month ago, you would never know his age, you would look at him and say maybe 65, 70-years-old,” Jacobs said.

As for the fire, the fire marshal is investigating.

It’s believed the flames sparked in the living room area of the home, but the fire does not appear to be suspicious in nature.

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