A fatal Schuylkill County fire that took the life of an elderly man has been ruled accidental.

The fire occurred about 1:46 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, at the residence of Kenneth R. Gernert, 74, of 34 Schuylkill Road, New Ringgold, East Brunswick Township.

Gernert died in the blaze.

Trooper Michael J. Yeity, a state police fire marshal out of the Reading barracks, said there was heavy fire damage at the southeast corner of the house. Gernert was located in his first floor bedroom.

Gernert was pronounced dead at 4:38 a.m.

Yeity said his investigation revealed the fire started in the southeast "sun room" area of a wood stove.

The cause or ignition source is either radiant heat from the stove or embers from the stove igniting combustibles and/or wood stored near the stove, Yeity said.