Firefighters found an elderly man dead after extinguishing a row house fire this morning.
The blaze on the 500 block of Watkins Street in South Philadelphia wasn't widespread and it didn’t take long to put out after firefighters arrived on the scene around 8:35.
It was too late, however, for Alfred Reitano, 72, an Army veteran who was found inside the home, according to Philadelphia Fire Department Executive Chief Richard Davison.
Firefighters on the scene told NBC10's Tim Furlong that it appeared that Reitano was apparently trying to put out a kitchen fire that broke out while he was preparing his breakfast. Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said the man's oatmeal was still on the table when firefighters arrived.
Ayers says the death drives home an important lesson that it's better for residents to call 911 than try to put out fires themselves.
None of the surrounding homes were heavily damaged, reported Furlong.