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Plano Man Killed After Reentering Burning Home To Retrieve Phone

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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - A man was killed early Friday morning after he returned inside of a burning Plano home to retrieve his cell phone. The incident happened just after 1:00 a.m. at a house on Haggard Street, near East Park Boulevard and State Highway 75.

Neighbors called 911 to report the house fire and crews arrived just three minutes later to find the building fully engulfed in flames. A total of three people lived in the home — the victim, his daughter and his roommate.

“The tragedy here is that the three adults living in the home actually made it out of the home, realized that they had no way to call 911, no phone with them,” explained Capt. Peggy Harrell with the Plano Fire Department. “So, two of the residents — two males — actually reentered the burning home.”

One of those men, who has not yet been identified but is said to be in his early 70s, did not make it back out alive. There were no other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire, which was extinguished quickly, is still under investigation.

Neighbors said that they are sad, wishing that their longtime friend had not gone back inside of his house while it was on fire. He had been living in the home for more than 20 years. “He could’ve come to any of the neighbors’ houses to call 911,” said Nakita Weseman. “I know he realized, probably, he didn’t have his cell phone, but that’s definitely replaceable. He wasn’t.”

Harrell warned residents to never run inside of a burning structure, noting that nine out of 10 people, nationally, do not make it back out alive. “Fire and smoke conditions change rapidly, and the fast-moving fire and toxic smoke can quickly incapacitate a person and make it impossible to get out,” said Harrell.

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