MIAMI – An elderly man has died at Jackson Memorial Hospital after he was pulled from a house fire in Miami early Friday morning. A City of Miami firefighter was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
According to City of Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Pete Sanchez, the fire was reported just after 2 a.m. at a home at 2320 SW Fourth St.
Sanchez said firefighters arrived at the scene to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the back of the house.
Additional units were called to the home and crews extended hand-lines to the rear of the property.
Sanchez said the fire was under control within 10 minutes.
As some firefighters were battling the flames, others searched the home for anyone inside and found an elderly man.
Sanchez said the victim was pulled from the home and taken to JMH’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries later in the morning.
Friends and family of the victim identified him to Local 10 News as 84-year-old Angel Montero.
“My friend was a wonderful person and I would see him all the time,” neighbor Alicia Godoy Giro said. “I would bring him food and he was a wonderful neighbor for over 50 years.”
Maria Piscolla told Local 10 News reporter Annaliese Garcia that for almost two years she was taking care of Montero and his wife, who died four months ago.
She said Montero would light a candle every night for the saints, but she doesn’t believe that would have caused the fire.
“He’s a great man, very friendly. He got along with all his neighbors,” she said in Spanish.
Piscolla said Montero was a friendly man and that all his neighbors loved him.
She said he had a clear mind, was healthy and was very close to his family.
Piscolla described Montero as a good Cuban man who regularly drank his cafe con leche and coladas. She said she never would have expected him to go this way.
“Very shocked. I can’t believe it,” she said.
Piscolla said Montero lived at his home alone.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.