Neighbor calls 911 after seeing flames; firefighters find 65-year-old’s body

Posted at 6:51 PM, Sep 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-03 20:31:34-04

PETERSBURG, Va. — A man was found dead inside of a vacant house after a fire in Petersburg Friday night.

Firefighters said they responded to a call around 10:30 p.m. for a fire in the 600 block of High Street.

Miguel Fuentes, who lives next door, called 911 after smelling smoke and seeing flames.

Miguel Fuentes

Miguel Fuentes

“I told them I saw the fire inside of the window,” Fuentes said. “The fire was coming down from the second floor to the bottom.”

When units arrived, they found a man dead inside of a bedroom. He was the only person in the two-story home that was converted into apartments.

Neighbors said they thought the home was vacant after renters moved out when the house was put up for sale two weeks ago.

But, Fuentes said he noticed the former renter’s truck parked in the backyard.

Firefighters respond to house fire call on High Street.

Firefighters respond to house fire call on High Street.

“The cop that got here first tried to go in the back,” he said. “He kicked the door in and he tried to go in, but the smoke and flames were too strong.”

The landlord told CBS 6 the victim was his 65-year-old renter.

“He looked like a pretty decent man,” Fuentes said.

Investigators believed the fire was accidental and have ruled out foul play.

The identity of the victim has not been released.

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