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Early morning fire kills 76-year-old man in Pleasant Hill

PLEASANT HILL, Mo. -- “I didn`t come out, because the smoke was so bad that I was afraid to come out of the house,” said Patricia Keil, a neighbor.

Neighbors describe what they woke up to this morning, and said the news just kept getting worse.

One man escaped that burning home, the other did not, and now he’s in the care of the American Red Cross.

Firefighters responded to the burning house near P-Highway and 203rd Street in Pleasant Hill.

The neighbor across the street says the smoke was so bad it woke her up.

“I woke up about 1:45, because I smelled smoke, and I saw the lights,” said Patricia Keil, who has called this street home for 24 years.

She says she didn't expect to see what she did when she looked out her window shortly before 1:30 this morning.

“It was really scary,” Keil added. “I stood by my living room window and watched.”

Firefighters arrived and put out the flames that had engulfed the home across the street from Keil's.

They said that inside the damage they found the body of one of the men who lived there.

“Oh, it was very sad. I thought it was very, very sad, to know that it was so close, and your neighbors,” Keil says.

According to an investigator looking into the fire, one man in his 50s and one another in his 60s lived in the home.

He said they woke up to the smell of smoke and tried to escape.

The man in his 50s made it out; the other did not. On Monday, March 20, firefighters identified the victim as Norman Caywood. He was 76-years old.

“We didn`t really talk or socialize. They came over a few times. We`ve got a rock wall back on our property back there, and they`ve taken rock off of there to build a patio,” Keil asid.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.