The lovebirds and parakeets had survived due to a door separating the porch from the smoky house. The birds were taken by animal rescuers to the Chester County SPCA for evaluation.
"They look to be in good condition at this point," said SPCA spokesman Rich Britton. He said they were not up for adoption.
Rescue personnel were called to the house in the 1200 block of Gail Road at 7:13 after a neighbor saw smoke coming from the roof and found the front door warm to the touch, Stone said.
Rescue workers forced their way in and found Robert O'Neill in a first-floor rear room. His wife was found on the floor in the living room, between two beds that had been set up, Stone said. Several birds kept inside were dead, too, Stone said.
The hoarded materials did not cause the blaze, but made it difficult for firefighters to gain entry and move around, Stone said. "The hoarding contributed more fuel to burn," he said.
The couple had been told by the township fire marshal several times to clear out the mess and clutter, he said.
Neighbor Joseph Mitchell said the O'Neills would say hello when passing by, but did not mingle with others. The family had lived in the white clapboard house for 31 years.
Mitchell said he smelled smoke early Friday. By the time he dressed and went down the block, he said, workers were "out there boarding it up."
"It's just a tragedy, a shame," Mitchell said. "It's not a good way to die."
The fire went to two alarms and drew personnel from the Goshen, Good Will, Fame, and West Whiteland Fire Departments and Good Fellowship Ambulance. Stone said officials were investigating.
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