Friends and family are dealing with the shocking loss of a Mississippi filmmaker overnight. There was a fire at the home of Jim Dollarhide, a man known across the country for his work.

His neighbors have been reflecting with sadness and uncertainty after the devastating fire at his lakefront home on Cavalier Street.

“He was lovely. You would see him out on his boat and he was very personable. We are praying that whoever it was, went to heaven. This is breaking my heart,” One neighbor said. “My reaction is I’ve seen several fires out here and it is very frightening. it makes me cry.”

Brenda Bowles says she didn’t know Dollarhide personally, but she’s only heard good things.  “He was a very talented man, and he lived out here for quite a few years,” she said.

Dollarhide lived alone in his Madison home and had recently posted to his Facebook page that he planned to sell his more than 4-thousand square foot home.

“We heard someone was in there we thought he had moved but come to find out he was still there,“ Bowles said.

Wednesday night, emergency responders said witnesses reported never seeing anyone leave the house.

“Last night, the house was very unstable to search in the dark. In the daylight resumes, we presume searches, and we actually found the body this morning,” Ninor Norman, of the Southwest County Fire Department, said.

Fire officials say they will need dental records to confirm that it was Dollarhide that they found in the home.

Dollarhide is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has been seen and recognized by people across the country. Some of his most notable films told the story of blues legend B.B. King. He also helped shoot a nationally recognized Mississippi-based documentary for HBO titled Lalee’s kin.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.