FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Family members of a man killed in an apartment fire drove up to the burned unit Friday afternoon in tears. One said she just found out an hour earlier she had lost a loved one.
"Once they were able to do a complete search of it, unfortunately found a civilian that had succumbed to the fire," said Don MacAlpine, Deputy Fire Marshall.
Fire officials said the man died Friday morning from smoke inhalation when his unit at the Casa Diana Apartments in Central Fresno caught fire. Firefighters responded about 6:00 a.m. and found it fully engulfed with a dead body inside.
Property management crews said it damaged both units on either side and fire investigators said there is roughly $80,000 in damages.
Jose Pinado, who was driving nearby Friday morning, said he could smell the fire from blocks away.
"It looked like an inferno it was crazy."
Stacy Sylvester said the smell of smoke woke her son up this morning, and she could feel the heat from her unit across the yard.
"We opened the front door and as soon as we opened the front door, I don't know if something blew up in there or what, but the glass came flying out."
Crews were seen cleaning up Friday afternoon, and Sylvester said the victim was a polite man and always told her to call if she needed anything.
Fire officials can't confirm if the smoke detector was working yet, but the property manager of these apartments says they inspected smoke detectors two weeks ago.