Elderly man dies in Pleasant Hill apartment fire

This is an image of firefighters on the scene of an apartment fire near Pleasant HIll. Thursday, Mar. 30, 2017. (KGO-TV)

A elderly man died after an explosion and fire ripped through an apartment near Pleasant Hill Wednesday evening, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

At about 6:30 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to an apartment in the 200 block of Tono Way, located in an unincorporated area in between Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek, Fire Marshal Robert Marshall said.

Upon arrival, firefighters found an apartment unit on fire. Due to reports of a person inside, fire crews went inside and found a man.

They were able to bring him out and medical crews attempted CPR on him, according to Marshall.

Inside the apartment, firefighters found a propane tank with a hole in it, indicating the tank had exploded. Additionally, the apartment's windows had been blown out.

Firefighters were eventually able to extinguish the fire.

The victim suffered critical injuries and was taken to a hospital where died a short while later, Marshall said.

While the cause of the fatal blaze is under investigation, Marshall said, "we know that the propane tank played a role."

The unit where the explosion occurred was the only unit affected by the fire. No other injuries were reported.

Marshall said he believes the fire caused about $75,000 in damages the apartment.
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