PALERMO — An elderly man died in a house fire Monday afternoon in Palermo, officials said.

The incident happened about 2:30 p.m. on Wheeler Avenue off the 6100 block of Upper Palermo Road, where firefighters confronted heavy smoke and fire in a single-story home, said Tony Brownell, battalion chief for Cal Fire-Butte County.

A neighbor reported the blaze, and firefighters entered the home on information someone may have been trapped inside, Brownell said.

But items inside the home and deteriorating conditions forced firefighters to pull back, he said. The roof of the home had become compromised and was at risk of collapsing.

Firefighters ultimately found the man on their third attempt searching the home. The man, who was described as elderly but whose name and age were not immediately available, died on the scene.

It was unclear whether the man, who used a wheelchair, could have been hampered in his escape.

No other people were inside the home at the time the fire broke out, Brownell said. And no firefighters were injured.

It was reported a dog also died in the fire.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Firefighters kept the blaze contained to the home, and they were expected to remain on the scene mopping up into Monday evening.

Multiple agencies responded to the fire, including Cal Fire-Butte County, El Medio Fire and the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.



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