Man found dead in Kansas City, Kan., house fire

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A neighborhood's effort to save an elderly man from his burning home ended tragically Wednesday morning in Kansas City, Kan.

Deputy fire chief Craig Duke said a man in his seventies was found dead in a bedroom inside his home at 2727 Waverly Avenue.

Neighbors called 9-1-1 at 10:24 and the first truck arrived two minutes later. Firefighters found neighbors trying to run into the home through the thick smoke.

"It was one of those 'Oh my God' moments," said neighbor Tenesha Bennett. "It was unbelievable. But it was believable because it was happening."

Bennett was one of several neighbors who tried to rescue the man, whose identity has not been released.

Duke said once firefighters entered the home, they quickly knocked down the flames and found the man's body.

"They are investigating where he was in the bedroom at the time. Whether he was actually on the bed, the mattress or whatever," said Duke.

He said the victim was a smoker, but investigators have not determined a cause. The home's interior is badly damaged.

Bennett said she is proud of her neighborhood's effort to help, but she wishes it had ended differently.

"I still feel bad because we couldn't help him," she said.

Three other people also lived in the home. Officials said a woman -- who was the man's caretaker -- and her two children were not home at the time. The American Red Cross is assisting them.

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