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1 dead in northwest Fresno house fire

A fire inside this home just west of Woodward Park early Sunday, July 16 left one man dead, the Fresno Fire Department says.
A fire inside this home just west of Woodward Park early Sunday, July 16 left one man dead, the Fresno Fire Department says. jjohnson@fresnobee.com

A man in his 60s died in a northwest Fresno house fire early Sunday.

The fire, one of three that kept firefighters busy overnight, was reported about 3:15 a.m. at 202 W. Brier Circle, just west of Woodward Park, according to Fresno Fire Department spokesman Hector Vasquez.

The first of five engines arrived to the scene within four minutes and confirmed there was a man trapped in a bedroom near the back of the house where the fire started. Rescuers need about 15 minutes to contain the fire before safely entering the bedroom, where they found the man dead. Vasquez said the cause of his death remains unknown.

Working smoke alarms were present in the house and are credited in notifying the victim’s sister who is in her mid 50s. Vasquez said she tried to rescue her brother and in the process, suffered smoke inhalation. She was taken to a nearby hospital.

No nearby structures were involved, but Vasquez said the house is uninhabitable because of the fire. On Sunday, workers were boarding it up. Fire investigators estimated the total damage at about $100,000.

The other two fires were reported near Belmont and Trinity avenues northwest of Kerman about 6 a.m. Sunday and at 2838 E. Simpson Ave. in central Fresno about 10 p.m. Saturday. No other details were available on the Kerman-area fire; the Simpson fire involved a vacant home.

Jessica Johnson: 559-441-6051, @iamjesslj

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