A war veteran is presumed dead after a fire destroyed his home in Innisfil, Ont., early Saturday morning.

Neighbours say Al Poirer, 82, was inside his home when a fire broke out sometime around 2 a.m.

Neighbour Helen Miller awoke to the smell of smoke and saw half of Poirer’s house on fire. She called 911 and then dialed Poirer’s 53-year-old son Andrew, who is also her neighbour.

“I said, ‘Andrew, your dad’s house is on fire,’” she said.

Poirer’s son ran over to the house but the flames pushed him away. He suffered smoke inhalation. When firefighters arrived on scene, the house was fully engulfed in flames.

With no fire hydrant on the street, firefighters had to truck in water from a kilometre away.

Authorities later found Poirer’s body steps away from a wood stove in a sitting room where he watched television.

People in the neighbourhood spoke highly of Poirer, saying he was generous and friendly.

“Both him and his son – I couldn’t ask for any better neighbours,” Miller said.

Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the fire.

With a report from CTV’s Tamara Cherry