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GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) – An early morning blaze killed one person in Golden, now neighbors on West 17th Place said they worried something like this would happen.

Jeff Johnson’s wife first smelled the smoke and called 911 about 5:15 a.m. on Thursday.

“It was completely pitch black dark, no noise, except that fire. You could see the embers. There’s an ember over there in the rocks right in front of our front door. It was scary,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, fire crews did a great job preventing the fire from spreading to other homes.

“What I saw and that house and those flames as high as they were, the wind was blowing this direction. I’m actually shocked that house next to them didn’t catch on fire. They did a phenomenal job,” he said.

Johnson is one of several neighbors who said they were not surprised this fire broke out at this house.

“Everybody in this neighborhood was concerned just because of the condition of the home and the way it looks from the exterior,” Johnson said.

Sue, who did not want us to use her last name, said she had been concerned for years.

“My husband has contacted fire departments, Golden city officials to try to get somebody to help with some kind of mitigation. It just became a frustration and an eyesore,” she said.

“Sooner or later, we knew it was going to happen. We knew that he was a hoarder and how bad the circumstances were in the home for him. If it ever did go up in flames that somebody is going to go as well,” Sue said.

The person who died in the fire has not been identified. Neighbors say they do not know much about the man who owned the home.

“In the 10 years I’ve been here, I’ve probably seen him once,” Johnson said.

“Unfortunately, he never had communication with any of the neighbors, he would always avoid anyone,” Sue said.