One person is dead following a house fire in Perinton.  

Dennis Buford says he woke up just after midnight to his home on Chesfield Lookout filling with smoke.

“I immediately bolted out of bed, and went out into the hallway. And the smoke got thicker as I got out in the hallway of the upstairs,” Buford said.

He says the smoke seemed to be coming from his girlfriend’s son’s room, but he was unable to see if the son had made it out okay. Dennis got out with his girlfriend and called 911.

“It’s shell shock. It’s like being [in] a warzone, and kinda just, you don’t know what to say, think or do,” Buford said.

  • Officials don't believe the fire is suspicious.
  • Homeowner says the deceased is his girlfriend's son 50-year-old Jeffrey Rhinewald.
  • The cause of death is still under investigation.

Four departments responded to the fire, and kept the blaze contained to the upstairs.

“There was nothing out of the ordinary that prohibited the rescue. It was well involved when we arrived on scene, crews did an outstanding job [to] get in there and knock it down as quickly as they did,” said Fairport Fire Chief Tom Santillo.

But Buford says his girlfriend’s son didn’t make it out and was later found dead upstairs.

“It’s tough. It’s like being shell shocked. It’s going to take the rest of the day before it sinks in, and we have to start dealing with it,” Buford said.

50-year-old Jeffrey Rhinewald was living with them after Buford said an accident a few years ago left Rhinewald on disability.

“He was a good-hearted kid. You couldn’t ask for better in the sense that he was respectful of everybody for the most part. He worked hard when he was able to work,” Buford said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but investigators don’t believe it to be suspicious. The medical examiner is also working to determine an official cause of death.

“We know nothing about him, we know nothing really about the fire itself. The fire marshal investigated, the coroner came and did their thing. But until we hear back from somebody, we don’t know a whole lot,” Buford said.