TRACY, Calif. (KTXL) – South San Joaquin county fire investigators are looking into the cause of a house fire that left a man dead.
The fire broke out at a home on Vivian Court, near North Corral Hollow Road, in Tracy, Monday morning.
“In minutes, seconds even, it went from being contained in the garage to having roaring flames over the house. It was wild to see that in action,” neighbor Moussa Wahhab said.
Wahhab shot a cell phone video of flames pouring out of his neighbors’ home across the street. At the time, he didn’t know his neighbor was trapped inside.
“It was surreal, seeing your neighbor’s house catch on fire, it’s not something that you see every day,” Wahhab said.
Firefighters from the South San Joaquin Fire authority rushed to the scene. Crews said there were already flames shooting out of the garage and heavy smoke coming from the front door by the time they arrived.
“Once the fire started getting very, you know, started rapidly accelerating like, like they do, the windows on the garage they shattered. They actually exploded, popped out,” Wahhab said.
The fire authority says firefighters got the fire under control and extinguished the flames within 5 to 10 minutes. They later discovered the body of a 57-year-old man inside the burned-out garage.
The San Joaquin County Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the man’s name.
Neighbors say the man lived in the home with his wife and that they got along with everyone.
“He was a nice guy, and I don’t want him to end like this. I don’t want anyone to end like this, which is really sad,” said Rana Wahhab, a neighbor.
Officials said the fire appears to be accidental but what sparked this fire remains under investigation.