MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man died in a house fire in North Memphis on Tuesday morning.

MPD confirmed that a man was killed as flames went up at a residence located at 1442 Decatur near New Chicago Park just before 7 a.m.

The male victim was 51 years old. Officers believe he died from smoke inhalation.

Memphis Fire Public Information Officer Qwanesha Ward told us he died near the front door. His one-time neighbor Jacqueline Bonds said he was possibly trying to get out of his home.

Bonds said her neighbor was always willing to help her 95-year-old mother whenever she was tending to her flower bed.

“He doesn’t bother anybody. He’s walking and he’s going to always speak. And he’s always asking my mom ‘is there anything I can do for you?’ And he checks on her,” she said.

Memphis Fire Department ruled the fire as accidental.

For hours investigators were trying to understand what sparked the fatal fire. Bonds said there is a probability the victim was just trying to do what he could to stay warm, especially considering there has been no electricity running into the home since 2019.

Since then, the victim, Bonds describes, has been struggling to overcome troubling times.

“You just never know the seconds he had to deal with prior to this,” she said. “It’s a sad day for the neighborhood.”

Neighbors did identify the victim in Tuesday morning’s fire, but we are not releasing his name as fire investigators are still working to contact his next of kin.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.