LEWISTON – The elderly man found dead following a fire inside his Lower River Road home in Lewiston early Sunday has been identified as 85-year-old James McIntyre, authorities confirmed Monday.

Lewiston police and Niagara County sheriff’s deputies arriving at 4702 Lower River Road learned from his wife, Shirley, that McIntyre might be in the burning house.

But when they attempted to enter the building several times, they were forced back by heavy smoke, the Sheriff’s Office said. Firefighters later found McIntyre dead inside the home.

The fire was reported to authorities at 2:18 a.m. by a 911 call.

The house was destroyed, authorities said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Lewiston No. 1, Upper Mountain, Youngstown, Sanborn and Ransomville companies fought the blaze.