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|New Jersey Man Is Killed in Fire
By NATE SCHWEBER
Published: November 29, 2005
WHARTON, N.J., Nov. 28 - A man died Monday afternoon when a fire broke out in a house stuffed with boxes filled with videos and DVD's of old movies, the authorities said.
Paul Kalleberg, the deputy chief of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, said that the fire probably started in the kitchen and that there was no evidence of foul play. Police Chief Anthony Fernandez said that emergency workers had trouble getting into the burning house because of the boxes. Many of the boxes had been piled from floor to ceiling on the front porch until late summer when the town's Department of Housing and Zoning ordered the owner, Billy Marcinko, to take them inside.
The authorities did not identify the victim, but a brother said it was most likely Mr. Marcinko, 47.
"It had to be him because he was the only one in the house," the brother, Jack Marcinko, said outside the gutted remains of the white and brown wooden home, bordered in the rear by a wooded area and on either side by one-family houses in the shadow of Mine Hill.
The Wharton fire chief, Dave Stalter, said that the fire broke out at 12:45 p.m. and that 50 firemen from Wharton as well as the nearby towns of Dover, Pine Hill, Picatinny and Randolph had the blaze under control by 2 p.m.
Neighbors described Billy Marcinko as a quiet, rarely seen man who did not have a job but regularly received shipments of boxes filled with videos and DVD's of old black-and-white movies.
Teresa LaSala, a former neighbor, said that for years Mr. Marcinko cared for his elderly mother, Heddy Marcinko, and kept his movies in the basement. When she died 10 years ago, the house became gradually filled with clutter.
"One time he showed me shelves he had built all around the house to hold the movies," Ms. LaSala said. "There were so many that I can't remember any of them."