RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — An apartment fire at a senior living facility claimed the life of a 65-year-old Riverside resident Monday evening.

The fire, in the 4200 block of Monroe Street, was reported just after 7:30 p.m.

Theresa Sweet, a neighbor, heard the man’s smoke detector go off. “I started hearing this ding, ding, noise. I smelled something so I said ‘Oh my gosh’. I hurried over there and sure enough … I started banging and ringing on the bell, banging on the window.”

She couldn’t rouse the victim and then called 911. She broke through a bedroom window and crawled inside. Sweet pulled the victim out of his living room.

Reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, Jeff Nguyen said the fire is believed to have started in the man’s kitchen.

The victim was identified as Jim Whitnell.

Sweet told Nguyen that Whitnell had health issues so she would check on him almost daily.

According the authorities, the victim seemed to have been overcome by smoke.

The fire was knocked down in less than ten minutes, according to firefighters on the scene.

Damage was contained to the deceased’s apartment.


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