Fatal fire victim had barricaded himself inside Ferguson home

FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) - St. Louis County Bomb and Arson investigators are looking into a house fire that killed a man in Ferguson Labor Day morning.

Two neighbors across the street remember hearing popping sound from breaking glass.  They saw the fire, ran to it, but couldn`t get to the homeowner because of what he`d apparently done to protect himself.

Anthony and Emily Fletcher shot Facebook live video after failing to save the man inside.

Anthony described what he found when he tried getting inside the home.  He said, 'He actually had himself boarded up inside his house.  He had a 2X4 on top of the door and a 2X4 at the bottom and he had a wooden pallet, firefighters say it was all nailed up against the door."

It's the house is at the end of the block on Anabel Avenue, where a sign by the porch says 'WE MUST STOP KILLING EACH OTHER.'

Neighbors say he was adding things around his home to keep people away, like caution tape that looked like something police would string around a crime scene.  In this case, neighbors say the homeowner put it around his house.

Emily Fletcher added, 'You could see on the outside that he was private, but I didn`t in a million years think that his house was so boarded up.'

She`d noticed the NO TRESPASSING signs and the roll of plastic fencing that appeared to be ready to go up, but not the fact that the front shade was bolted to the window frame.

We could see a door ripped from its hinges that appeared to have at least four inside locks.  One latch was still padlocked, with the key inside.

Anthony Fletcher says firefighters reassured him that he did all he could.  He said, 'They basically told me that there was nothing I could`ve done myself as far as getting in.  They had to use a saw.'

It appears the fire started near a corner basement window and moved up.

Surveillance cameras could provide a clue, if they were recording.

The homeowner is listed in Missouri State Highway Patrol records as a sex offender.  Neighbors say he lived alone.