A home was destroyed by a fire on Verona Island, claiming the life of a Prospect man who was visiting a friend. He was displaced following a fire at his home on Tuesday. Provided photo

A Prospect man died Wednesday in a fire at the home of a friend who offered him shelter a day after his own house burned down.

Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the State Fire Marshals’ Office, said 68-year-old Terrance Leach of Prospect died in Wednesday’s fire at 322 East Side Road on Verona Island. Two other occupants of the Verona Island home, including the owner, escaped safely.

Leach was displaced by a fire Tuesday at his Prospect home, where he was smoking while using a home oxygen tank, Moss said. The cause of that fire was ruled accidental.

Leach was offered refuge at a friend’s home on Verona Island, but on Wednesday night fire broke out, destroying the residence. There were no indications of foul play in Wednesday’s fire and the cause remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshals’ Office.

“We can’t say at this point if he (Leach) was smoking at the Verona home because it’s an active investigation, but clearly they’ll be looking at that as a possible cause,” Moss said.

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