Man dies in house fire

A woman lost her husband to a fire in their Merced Heights home Wednesday afternoon.

The woman had run outside yelling that her house was on fire at 266 Byxbee St. and that her husband was still inside around 6:30 p.m. A neighbor then called the fire department.

Firefighters could see the smoke from two blocks away, said fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge.

When they arrived, they found the woman’s 83-year-old husband inside with life-threatening burns and smoke inhalation, Talmadge said.

He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died.

A firefighter was also taken to the hospital but has since been released.

Firefighters got water on the fire within 10 minutes of the report and contained it within half an hour, keeping it at a one-alarm blaze.

The woman cannot go back to the home Thursday because of the damage caused by the fire, Talmadge said.

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