Deadly Fire Burns 8 Acres

5/21/2008 Fresno, CA An elderly man who lived here died trying to save the home he's lived in since about 1963. The home is now just a pile of ashes and debris.

Whipping winds kicked up the flames fast. "When you have 25, 30 mile and hour winds it happens very quickly. They could see a smoke and the next minute it's at the back door," said Fresno County Fire Chief Keith Larkin.

It must've happened within seconds. Fire crews who arrived to initially battle a grass fire, found homes in the area in the path of the vicious flames. Torching tall palm trees and reducing cars to metal shells.

One resident died trying to douse his property. Several others were hurt during the fire.

Nain Young rushed down to the burned home Tuesday evening to offer her neighbors a place to stay for the night. She had no idea one of them died trying to save their home. "I really feel badly about that. I'm sorry it happened. You know you never know what the future brings and I'm sure they didn't expect that so it's a very sad situation in my book," said Young.

Neighbors say the victim was outside his home when he was found but his wife was rescued and treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation.

The fire destroyed one home and burned close to 8 acres. Fire officials say the cause is human, likely a weed eater that sparked the blaze.

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