78-year-old man dies in Henrico house fire on Christmas Eve

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Henrico County man who was seriously injured in a house fire on Christmas Eve has died.

Henrico Fire officials said in a Thursday update that the man — identified by his family as 78-year-old Robert Enroughty — died from his injuries at VCU Medical Center.

When fire crews were called to the blaze in the 1900 block of N. Washington Street just after 9:15 p.m., they found fire showing from the rear of the one-story home.

Investigators later determined that the fire originated in the kitchen, though the official cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Enroughty’s family told 8News they believe the fire started while he was cooking. They think he was trying to put the fire out himself when smoke consumed his lungs.

When investigators arrived at the burning home, one of the cooking burners was still on, Enroughty’s family said.

In the Thursday morning update, Henrico Fire reminded people to “not leave cooking unattended and unplug appliances that are not in use.”

“If there’s any sort of fire over like a pan of grease, then you need to get out of that area, get yourself to safety, and let the professionals at Henrico Fire come and deal with it,” said Henrico Fire Capt. Robert Owens.

8News spoke with Enroughty’s neighbor, who says he busted through the door of the home in an attempt to save his life.

“I was just screaming and yelling his name as much as possible trying to get his attention,” said the neighbor, who did not wish to be identified. “His whole front yard, my backyard was full of smoke.”

The neighbor said that as a result of the smoke, he couldn’t enter the home.

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“I opened the door up with my shoulder and kicked the door in,” the neighbor said. “After that, there was just so much smoke you couldn’t even see. So I got my flashlight to where I could see his seat and he wasn’t sitting there, so I just kept yelling his name and screaming his name until the fire department came.”

The neighbor told 8News that Enroughty was a kind man who looked out for others in the area.

“He would just jump on his lawnmower and come cut my grass,” he said. “He was a great neighbor, great guy. He will be missed.”

Enroughty’s family said that he leaves behind two daughters — one who lives in the area and another out of state. The retiree lived alone at his home on N. Washington Street.

Henrico Fire and Police are working with the Medical Examiner to determine his exact cause of death. 

His family says his daughters are planning to get their father cremated.

Stay with 8News for updates on this developing story.

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