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Man dies in downtown Kelowna house fire

Fire inspectors say while the man's mattress was burned, they believe he likely died of smoke inhalation. (Kathryn Marlow/CBC)

A man has died early Friday morning in a house fire in downtown Kelowna. 

The fire started just after 4 a.m. PT in a home on Saucier Avenue. When the Kelowna Fire Department arrived, Platoon Capt. Henry Roelofs says there was light smoke in the carport of the two-storey house, which appeared to be coming from the lower part of the building.

"We found very little fire as such, one of the rooms had blackened quite a bit, and they'd used a tiny bit of water to extinguish the remaining fire that was still in there," said Roelofs.

Firefighters contained the fire to one bedroom, and found a man, believed to be in his 40s, lying on the floor.

Roelofs said it's likely he died from smoke inhalation, not flames from the fire -- which investigators believe started in his bedroom.

"A fire like that, because it's being contained it lacks oxygen fairly quickly so it will just sit there and smoulder, but in the process there's a lot of black smoke that comes up and it's the smoke that eventually will cause somebody to succumb," said Roelofs.

Investigators are now looking into the cause of the fire. Though the man's mattress was burned, Roelofs said they don't believe it was where the fire started.

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