An 83-year-old man was killed in a fire Wednesday evening in San Francisco’s Merced Heights neighborhood.

The San Francisco medical examiner’s office today identified the victim as James Childs, of San Francisco.

The fire was reported at 6:26 p.m. at a two-story, single-family home in the 200 block of Byxbee Street.

San Francisco fire spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge said a neighbor called the fire department to report a distraught woman who said her house was on fire and that her husband was still inside.

Responding firefighters could see the smoke from two blocks away, Talmadge said. They arrived and put water on the fire, and “extricated the gentleman who was in the building,” Talmadge said.

“He was still alive when they transported him to the hospital,” Talmadge said.

The man, now identified as Childs, later succumbed to his injuries. One firefighter suffered shortness of breath and was taken to a hospital for treatment, Talmadge said.

The one-alarm fire was controlled at 6:58 p.m.

Talmadge said the American Red Cross was called to assist two residents who were displaced.

There is no damage estimate yet and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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