110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Jul 31, 2012 - 8:09:27pm
When Volusia County sheriff’s deputies and Orange City firefighters responded to the scene of a house fire on Highbanks Road in DeBary July 29, they found the body of an adult man inside the charred home.
That man has now been identified as 55-year-old Joel Lipkowitz. He died of smoke inhalation and thermal burns, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Brandon Haught said.
A call about a fire at 54 W. Highbanks Road was received by the Sheriff’s Office at 9:19 a.m. Sunday, July 29, after a passer-by spotted flames coming from the house’s windows. Firefighters began dousing flames at about 9:25 a.m., then entered the residence. They found Lipkowitz’s body at about 9:34 a.m.
The Sheriff’s Office’s Major Case Unit is conducting an investigation into the death. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.
The house was up for sale. Realtor Pamela Arthur said, “We’d just got an offer on the house.”
It was a sad situation, she said.
Arthur said she knew Lipkowitz only professionally.
“He was a single man who lived there by himself. He was kind of reclusive, but super nice,” she said.
A son and grandchild live in Central Florida, she said.
Arthur said she had heard that Lipkowitz tried to make it out of the house, but was overcome by smoke before he could escape.
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