Herndon house fire leaves one man dead and dozens of cats displaced

The late-night fire killed the home's owner. Photo: John Gonzalez

One man is dead and dozens of cats have been transported to a local animal shelter after a house fire in Herndon.

Authorities say that they believe a car{ }started a fire in the garage of a Herndon home along 12800 Willow Glen Court in Herndon at 11 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters found the badly-burned body of the deceased homeowner in the garage.

Neighbors say they saw the homeowner working on the car late last night moments before a series of loud explosions

Fairfax County firefighters arrived at the home Upon arrival, fire crews found the man’s wife, who told firefighters that her husband, who is believed to be in his 70s, was trapped inside the garage. It was engulfed in flames at the time.

Fire investigators say that the man and his wife were cat breeders. At least 37 cats were removed from the home alive.

A dozen guns were also recovered in a different section of the house. The man was a collector.

The cause and origin of the fire are still under investigation. There was at least $50,000 in damage to the home.

The older couple's son arrived early Thursday morning to recover the weapons and to care for his mother. He spent the day at the home with investigators. The guns police say were part of a collection and are unrelated to the fire.

Investigators have no reason to believe any foul play was involved.