Flames were shooting out of windows on the home on Mera Street and Rosedale Avenue in the Fruitvale District when firefighters arrived.
The fire was first reported shortly after 2:00 Thursday morning, and quickly expanded. Six residents had already escaped the burning home -- two women and four children, but firefighters were told one other person was still inside. It took crews about 15 minutes to get it knocked down enough to enter the house and search for the person. Firefighters pulled out a 44-year-old man, but he had died.
"It's hard on the crews. We're used to winning, so it's a difficult situation for everyone involved. You feel for the family of course, so you've got that in your head," said Oakland Fire Dept. Batt. Chief Robert Lipp.
Firefighters said a multigenerational family was living in the house. It's not clear yet whether the victim was the father. Crews say the fire began in the back of the house. They've been removing debris to help investigators determine the cause of the fire.
The fire department says one possibility it will look into is whether a space heater, or any other such heat source, could have contributed to the fire.
Some family members, or friends, have been helping salvage and remove belongings from the home. The Red Cross has been called in to help the survivors.