PISMO BEACH, Calif. - A man is found dead inside of a Pismo Beach home after flames are seen soaring out from the second floor. Investigators are trying to figure out what happened and how the fire started.
"Flames, smoke, it was pretty bad, it was ripping pretty bad," says Clayton Mills, an off-duty firefighter from the Bay Area who witnessed the fire.
He saw when flames came ripping out of a home at 214 Esparto Avenue in Pismo Beach.
"I saw smoke coming from the second floor, I saw my neighbors kind of scrambling down there," he says.
That's when he sprung into action to help.
"I checked if anyone was around the back and I went upstairs and I looked inside as the fire was going on," says Mills.
His house is only a few doors down from where fire officials say a middle aged man was found dead inside.
"Because of the fatality there will be an investigation but, also because of the damage of the structure," says Chris Elms, Public Information Officer with the Pismo Beach Fire Department.
The back of the two-story home is charred from the fire. The owner who didn't want to go on camera say the man inside was a close friend.
"It's tragic, I don't know the person above, but it's lucky everyone else was out," says Mills.
Mills who works out of the Bay Area didn't hesitate to help firefighters put out the flames
"The fire was on the second story it was clear down below so they followed me up and they put out the fire which I helped them do by pulling the line," he says.
Officials say the fire started just after 5:30 Thursday evening. They say the house was once for a single family but, was converted to three apartments inside.
"Thank goodness they were there because they kept it contained to the second floor," says Mills.
While fire crews say they found the man on the second floor it's unclear where he was exactly on that floor.
"The flames, the heat and the smoke was pretty bad," says Mills.
The fire remains under investigation. The identity of the man found dead inside has not been released as of yet.