A Chester County man known for collecting animals and appearing on television with them died Sunday in a fire in rural Fort Lawn, officials said.
Tim Seegars, 61, was killed in the fire on Seegars Road that started around 4:30 a.m., said Allen Culp, chief of the Fort Lawn Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire was in an outbuilding/barn and appears to have been caused by space heaters, Culp said. The location is near the Catawba River in eastern Chester County.
The building did not have smoke detectors and was almost totally destroyed, Culp said.
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Culp said anyone who does not have a smoke detector can call their local fire department. The Fort Lawn Fire Department, like many departments, has a program to provide detectors, Culp said. For a smoke detector in Fort Lawn, call the department at 803-872-4830.
The fire included what sounded initially like gunshots, but the sounds were ammunition exploding in the fire, Culp said. The building was destroyed, Culp said.
"I live not far from there and I could see the sky lit up and hear the ammunition going off," Culp said.
Seegars, known as the "Animal Man," had been on television shows for his animals that at times included owls, bears and other wildlife, Culp said.
Chester County Emergency Management Director Eddie Murphy, who also responded to the fire scene and confirmed the fatality, said Seegars was known for decades as an animal trainer.
Deputies from the Chester County Sheriff's Office responded to the fire scene and confirmed that Seegars died in the fire, said Robert Sprouse, chief deputy.
Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald