BELMONT, N.C. -- A 78-year-old man has died after a house fire started early Monday in Gaston County, according to officials.
Around 7:35 a.m., firefighters were called to a home at 125 Venn Drive in Belmont.
“A neighbor heard the smoke alarm going off in his house,” said Fire Chief Gary Jackson with the Community Fire Department. “Two neighbors actually pulled him from the residence.”
The man, who is a 33-year naval veteran and who lived alone, was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, said Gaston County EMS Capt. Chris Hendricks.
He was in cardiac arrest at the time and died shortly thereafter, said Jackson.
Jackson said the fire department is trying to determine whether the fire started first or the man went into cardiac arrest first.
At this time, fire officials believe the fire started in a smoking bucket.
“It was a small fire that emitted a lot of smoke,” said Jackson. “We quickly contained it within seconds of arriving.”