76-year-old man who was pulled from house fire in Southeast Fresno dies

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- According to officials the 76-year-old man who was saved from a house fire in Southeast Fresno has died. The victim has been identified as Joe Aguilar.

Fire officials said Aguilar was overcome by smoke during the fire. Neighbors said they tried desperately to rescue the man through a side door, but flames immediately shot out when they opened it.

Around 10:30 Monday night firefighters were called to the home on Whitney and Garrett near Chestnut and Jensen. When firefighters got there the home was in flames.

Crews realized there was a 76-year-old man in the home and he needed to be rescued. He was stuck in a back corner bedroom.

Firefighters quickly worked to pull the man to safety while another crew worked to put the fire out. They had a tough time rescuing the victim because the home had bars covering the windows.

Neighbors said the man who was pulled from this home was well known to the area and a Vietnam veteran.

Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Randy Reitz said, "So they went directly into rescue mode, we had reports of a victim that was in the back corner bedroom. They went to work on that. Our next arriving crew was here within about a minute to two after they arrived and he initiated fire attack and control measures there while the other crews started rescue operations."

Crews had to perform CPR on the victim who was then taken to Community Regional Medical Center.

One fire fighter did suffer burn injuries but the extent of his injuries are not known.

Two other people inside the home were able to make it out safely.

The cause of this fire is still under investigation, but crews tell us so far they know the fire started in the center of the home.
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