HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – A 67-year-old man died after an early morning fire in his converted garage apartment on Buchanan Street.
“All I can say is that I tried to help him,” said Billy Palmieri’s after someone knocked on his door. “I ran back there trying to open the door. It was locked. I went around to the side window, threw my fist through the window where I cut my arm wide open.”READ MORE: City Where Trayvon Martin Died Seeks Racial Injustice Reform
Palmieri said he tried desperately to get in, knowing his friend was inside the burning building.
“Trying to get in the window,” he explained, “there was so much smoke hitting me in the face, I couldn’t get in.
Hollywood Fire Rescue arrived and got the man out.
“They did find an individual inside that was unresponsive,” explained Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Storey. “They brought him out, started administering CPR and he was transported to the hospital.”READ MORE: Woman Killed In Pompano Beach Triple Shooting
The man did not survive.
Investigators focused on the charred kitchen area as they tried to determine what sparked the fire.
“It does appear in this early stage of the investigation that it was accidental,” said Storey.
Palmieri said his neighbor recently underwent several rounds of heart surgery. He said his friend lived in this apartment for about five years and he was liked.MORE NEWS: Miami Weather: Mostly Sunny With A Building Breeze
“He stays home. He’s a quiet man, good-hearted. Always lets me use his cell phone when i need it,” he recalled.