A few minutes' more warning might have saved Clarence Holt's life.
A relative coming to check on the 52-year-old living at 2706 Hood St. saw smoke emanating Friday morning from the eaves of the brick rental house, investigators said. The relative ran next door and asked neighbor Jesse Richardson to call 911.
Firefighters at Station No. 6, just blocks from Holt's home, got the alarm at 7:51 a.m. and were at the burning house in four minutes, said Fire Marshal Ricky Shores. Knowing someone was inside, they broke through the door, found Holt and got him out through a northeast window they broke out, Shores said.
But it was too late. Chief Deputy Coroner Freeman Worley pronounced Holt dead at the scene shortly after 8 a.m.
Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 10 minutes, Shores said. The home sustained moderate smoke and fire damage, he said.
The cause and point of origin of the blaze are still being investigated, he said.
Worley said an autopsy will determine Holt's exact cause of death.
Richardson said Holt had lived in the house four or five years, and was a friendly neighbor folks will miss.
Other residents walking by stopped to ask about Holt, and were saddened by the news. "May God bless his soul," one said.
Shores said Holt is Columbus' first fire fatality of 2013. The city had two last year, he said.