WOODLAND HILLS (CBSLA.com) — A 50-something man died Saturday in a house fire in West Hills.

The fire was reported just after 1:15 p.m. in a single-story, 1,625-square foot home located on the 23000 block of Baltar Street.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze within 20 minutes, said Los Angeles Fire Department official Erik Scott.

The victim, who lived alone, was pulled from his bedroom with second and third degree burns over his entire body, according to Scott.

Paramedics on the scene “aggressively treated” the man before rushing him to a hospital.

Investigators have determined the fire was caused by a “discarded or misplaced cigarette,” said Senior Arson Investigator David Liske.

Brittney Hopper, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, spoke to neighbors who couldn’t believe how intense the fire became.

Crystal Compese, who called 911, said “I was just astounded by what was happening.”

Neighbors described the deceased as “a good man who loved his children.”

Richard Yanchuk said, “God bless the boys and I wish them well and to carry on and give them strength to go ahead.”

The home was declared a total loss.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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