PLACERVILLE, CA - A man is dead after an early morning fire Tuesday.
A person called 911 around 5 a.m. to report that a neighbor's home on the 2800 block of Bryan Way was on fire, El Dorado County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Pott said.
Neighbor Kenny Ragan and his dad raced over to help.
"It was going pretty good when we got here" Ragan said. "The water hose wasn't doing nothing. It was just too much at that time."
When crews got to the scene, the home was engulfed in flames. A woman and her son were able to get out of the home safely, but her husband, the son's stepfather, was still trapped inside.
"The engine company pulled an attack line and went into the structure to try to locate the victim," Pott said. "When the roof started collapsing, they had to back out."
About an hour later, when it was safe for crews to enter the home, they found the body of a 67-year-old man in the bedroom, Pott said. It's unknown why he didn't get out with his wife and stepson.
The fire destroyed the home.
The cause of the fire is undetermined; it could have started by either candles or electrical problems.
Pott also said there was not a working smoke detector in the home.
"The family was alerted actually by a cat in the house making a howling noise," Pott explained. "I think if they would have had a working smoke alarm, they would have been notified earlier and may have had a different outcome of this fire."
Meanwhile, neighbors, like Ragan, are in shock mourning the loss of their neighbor on Christmas day.
"Sorry for the family," Ragan said. "Wish I could have done more to help."
The Red Cross is helping the family with clothes and food vouchers. The mom and son will most likely stay with family or friends.