MOUNT HOPE - A house fire overnight in Orange County took the life of a longtime town supervisor.
Officials say the fire broke out at the Route 211 West home of former Mount Hope Town Supervisor William Novack Jr. just after 10 p.m. Monday.
Firefighters say the disabled former town supervisor was inside the house when they arrived, but the flames were too intense for anyone to go in. When firefighters finally entered the house, they found the 69-year-old dead in his kitchen, just feet away from the back door. Officials say he may have been trying to get out before being overcome by smoke.
Those who knew Novack tell News 12 he had difficulty walking and sometimes used a cane and walker.
Novak served as town supervisor for two decades. Town of Wallkill Supervisor Dan Depew says he had been struggling with his re-election loss to Chad Volpe last November. Novack was also dealing with medical issues related to his service in Vietnam.
The father of two was best known around town for his recent work securing land for a local 4H park and for being a staunch supporter of the fire department.
Investigators say the fire does not seem suspicious, but the cause of the fire is still unknown