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Man In Wheelchair Dies In Euless Fire

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EULESS (CBSDFW.COM) - A man in a wheelchair died early Friday morning after a two-alarm fire at his Euless apartment unit. The blaze was first reported at around 1:45 a.m. at the Concorde House Apartments, located in the 300 block of Park Drive.

Chief Chance Bennett of the Euless Fire Department said that the first floor of the apartment building was fully involved when crews arrived at the scene, and the second story was partially on fire. A woman outside of the building told firefighters that the victim was still trapped inside.

"They woke me up to say that there was a fire out there," stated neighbor Linda Newlin. She identified the woman outside as the victim's wife. "She was in shock, shaking and crying a little bit, concerned about her husband. She said, 'He was right behind me. I don't see how he didn't get out.'"

Workers entered the burning building and found the man's body in the living room area. He appeared to be heading toward unit's front door. That victim owned several dogs, and may have been trying to save his wife and pets when he was overcome with smoke. Fire officials do not know if the man was paralyzed or why he was bound to the wheelchair. His name has not been released.

Neighbors said that they did not know the man very well, as the wheelchair kept him inside much of the time. "He'd be sitting in his wheelchair. He was very friendly," recalled Newlin.

At least four apartment units were damaged in the blaze -- three on the ground floor and one on the second story. The flames started on the bottom floor, officials said, but the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. Neighbors claim to have seen sparks coming from the walls, as though the building's wiring was at fault. The apartment complex was already in the process of being shut down for redevelopment.

Firefighters from Arlington, Bedford and Grapevine assisted in the effort to extinguish the flames.

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