68-year-old man killed in Reedley house fire

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- There's not much visible damage from the outside of a home on K Street in Reedley, but a wheelchair ramp and hoist outside are clear indications of the circumstances police and firefighters encountered when they arrived.

Investigators say 68-year-old Charles Canaan was in his bedroom with the door closed when the fire started.

"Officers attempted to get in the room but were succumbed with a large amount of smoke. They went into the back and went in through a window and used the fire extinguishers to try to knock down a lot of the fire and flames that was inside the bedroom," said Reedley Police Sgt. Todd Lowery.

Investigators say the victim's wife called 911 after noticing smoke coming from the bedroom. Officers don't know how exactly how long the fire was going before it was discovered, but the victim was not able to get to safety on his own.

"He was immobilized, he was a smoker so we don't know if that contributed to what had happened or any kind of faulty wiring or anything that might have been in the bedroom as well," Lowery said.

Neighbors say they didn't see Canaan often but recalled emergency crews responding to the home several times to help lift him out of bed.

Firefighters say most of the damage was contained to the bedroom. But smoke may have also ruined other parts of the home.

Monday family members didn't want to talk about Canaan or what happened that ended his life.

The cause of death is still pending. But officials say it does appear to be related to the fire, not other health issues.
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