One person dead after Hollywood duplex fire - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

One person dead after Hollywood duplex fire

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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- A man is dead after a fire broke out at a residential duplex.

Monday afternoon, Hollywood Police remained on the scene to make sure no one goes into the structure until it is determined to be safe.

The home's landlord said the victim, James Burns, was 59 years old, was sick and was a smoker. He believes the fire was likely an accident. The fire broke out shortly before 5 p.m., Sunday, near the 2800 block of Taylor Street in Hollywood.

Fire officials said that a female neighbor was trying to put the fire out after she noticed the smoke. "Upon arrival," said Battalion Chief Ron White of Hollywood Fire Rescue, "there was some light to medium smoke showing. The door was open. There was a neighbor extinguishing the fire through an open door with a garden hose. Our units pulled the hose line and put the remaining fire out, at which time they found the victim inside."

"He did live here for a long time. He lived here for 12 years, and you know, it's just really sad," said Kathy Garfield, a neighbor. "A lady came from across the street and tried to help. She said the smoke was, you couldn't see this far in front of you because it was just so thick."

Fire officials said that most of the damage from the fire occurred in the living room area of the residence. They also confirmed that Burns died in the living room.

The victim lived with a roommate, but the roommate was at work when the fire occurred.

When those who knew Burns got the devastating call, they rushed to the scene to speak with detectives. "Outgoing guy. Good person," said Michael Ryan, who was good friends with Burns.

The last time Ryan saw Burns was on Friday. "I was going to give him a ride to the hospital. I came over around like ten o'clock, and then he changed his mind. He said he was going to take himself, and I said, OK, call me later. That's the last time I talked to him."

Burns' neighbors are mourning his death. "It was just tragic, very tragic," said Garfield.

Police are still investigating the cause of the fire and how Burns died. Burns' family has been notified of his death.

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