'Nothing nobody could have done’: Man found dead in Lake Norman house fire

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Investigators said a massive fire left an elderly man dead Wednesday morning in Mooresville, near Lake Norman.

Firefighters were called around 4:30 a.m. to the home on Shoreline Loop, on a peninsula near Brawley School Road.

Dozens of firefighters from several departments, including a fireboat, battled the two-alarm blaze. Officials said the cause of the fire was an electrical malfunction with the HVAC Unit under the house.

It took nearly 40 firefighters about a half an hour to just get it under control. Authorities said the home is a total loss with the roof nearly gone and most of the inside scorched.

The fire marshal said 86-year-old William Long Jr. was found dead inside the home.

Neighbors told Channel 9 the man who died was in his 80s and had just celebrated his birthday on Tuesday. They said fire crews were at the house minutes after the 911 call.

“I could see the whole house was just gone, it was completely in flames -- there’s nothing nobody could have done,” said neighbor Ron Wallace. “The door was open, all the glass was gone, and there were some heavy-duty high-voltage sparks coming from the window. They went right in straight away, even with the high heat, with the hoses to search through the property to put the fire out."

The SBI has been called to help investigate.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this developing story.

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