One Person Found Dead as Modesto Crews Battle Duplex Fire

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MODESTO -- One person was found dead Tuesday as a fire spread through a Modesto duplex.

Jessica Smart with the Modesto Fire Department reports just before 2 p.m., crews were dispatched to a fire on Floyd Avenue near Keller Street.

Flames were taking over one side of the building when the first crews arrived at the duplex.

With his neighbor's house on fire and no response at the door, Brian Sharp knew the situation was not good.

"Looked in the windows, beat on the door, no answer and by then the smoke was coming out pretty thick," Sharp recalled.

Sharp and his other neighbors wanted to help but he says an attempt at trying to save the person inside may have made the fire grow while putting other lives at risk.

"Two of the guys wanted to open up the windows or break a window or a door and I said, 'No, it’ll just feed the fire,'" Sharp said. "So we came back over here and the fire department showed up."

Once inside, firefighters found a victim, who was later pronounced dead at the scene. The victim's cause of death has not been reported.

Officials haven’t identified the person who lost their life. However, Sharp says the fire began in the unit where an elderly man lives and he believes that’s who died.

"He just kind of moved in not too long ago," Sharp told FOX40. "He was an older gentleman and the rumor mill has it that he was on oxygen and he was a smoker."

The fire investigation unit and Modesto police are investigating.

Stay with FOX40 for more updates as they become available.

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