FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Cynthia McGee was at work when she received the heartbreaking news that her brother, Curtis McGee, was the man who died in a fire at an abandoned Tulare home.
"So I just knew it was a matter of time I would get the call," she said. "I just knew it was coming because he was out there in the streets. He was out there and that's where he wanted to be."
Despite their best efforts to save him, fire officials say McGee died at the hospital, likely due to smoke inhalation.
They aren't exactly sure how the 56-year-old got inside the house.
It's technically vacant but is often occupied by a mix of homeless people looking for a place to stay or sleep.
Cynthia confirmed her brother was homeless and had drug issues but says he had a good heart.
"Everybody knew Curtis, he was funny," she said. "He had a great sense of humor. He made people laugh, he was funny. But he had a great sense of humor. He wasn't a bad person, he just got caught up. He got caught up on some stuff that he couldn't come back from."
Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire, but don't consider it suspicious in nature.
Cynthia thinks Curtis may have started the fire accidentally while trying to keep himself warm.
She says he's in a better place now.
"I'm going to trust God on this one because I know that God took him out of his misery, because he was miserable," she said.