Smoke could be seen rising Monday afternoon from the top of a home near NE 23rd Street and Lottie Avenue.
Neighbors tried to save a man as his home went up in flames. Firefighters also rushed to the scene, but it was too late.
Officials have not released the name of the victim. Two neighbors on scene said they tried everything, even breaking a window with an axe.
“I was using this axe to try and break the widows on the side, trying to hit the lock on the bars. It wouldn’t work. A few of the guys ran around to the back but it was just too hot in the back,” said Edwin Moreland.
Another neighbor said he tried to get in but couldn't due to the gates.
“I saw the fire come about and I saw a man yelling. I went to the house over here; I couldn’t get through the front door because it was gated. The door was open and saw him catch on flames," said Trimaine Williams.
Firefighters said they arrived a few minutes later to take over.
“There was quite a bit of fire damage in the central part of the house. Smoke damage throughout the home but we don’t know what the cause was,” said Benny Fulkerson, Oklahoma City Fire Department battalion chief.
Fulkerson said the victim was found in the living room of the single-story home.
“We do have the Oklahoma City Police Department homicide unit responding to assist our Oklahoma City Fire Department fire investigators to conduct a joint investigation. It’s what we always do anytime there is a victim in a fire such as this,” he said.
Moreland said he had just spoken to the homeowner, and everything was fine.
“Everything happened so fast, and I just can’t imagine what happened,” he said.
Now, he is left with memories of his neighborhood friend.
“Him and my dad are really close. He goes runs errands for my dad and stuff like that when I’m not here. He comes and cuts my yard every now and then. Just a good guy, outstanding guy. It’s a real tragedy,” said Moreland.
Firefighters were on scene until around 6 p.m., conducting interviews and assessing the home. Right now, they have not disclosed how the fire started. Fire officials said the home did not have a working smoke detector.