One person dead after southeast Fresno house fire

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One person is dead following a house fire on Fresno's historic Huntington Boulevard. (KFSN)

One person is dead following a house fire on Fresno's historic Huntington Boulevard.

The fire broke out Monday morning at a large victorian-style home at Huntington and Tenth near Roosevelt High.

Neighbors called 911 saying they smelled smoke. When firefighters arrived the home was in flames.

While the boards on the windows made the home look abandoned, neighbor Rhea Rehark alerted firefighters the home had been occupied.

"But I did tell the fireman there may be somebody inside."

Firefighters discovered a badly burned human body by the back door of the house.

"Right now, we do not have a confirmed identity, family members and neighbors have speculated it was a family member who was coming and going-- although not an owner of the house," said Todd Tuggle, Fresno Fire Department.

The home's owner did not live there, but she and other family members are waiting for the coroner to identify the remains.

A family pastor told us they were hoping the victim wasn't a member of the family. Rhea and other neighbors told Action News there had been problems at the house.

"The house has been partially boarded up, and in the last couple of weeks, I heard noises in the night, breaking glass. From what I could see it was a confused situation over there."

Investigators are looking at the cause of the fire, and the cause of death.

"The shake shingle roof definitely contributed to the fire spread. In fact, the fire started in a back room, went up outside, and actually spread along the outside of the roof," said Tuggle.

Neighbors told Action News they believed the owners daughter, a middle-aged woman, was living in the house. But they also noted a parade of different people had been coming and going over the past several months.

The coroner's office is working to positively identify the remains.
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