An elderly man perished in a house fire on the 1300 block of Dakota Avenue in the Richland Wye area Monday afternoon.

Richland Fire Chief Tom Huntington said people saw flames and smoke coming from the house. A neighbor rushed to the scene to help, but intense heat and flames and smoke kept him from entering.

The back door was blocked from the inside, so the only doorway was filled with fire which slowed firefighters.

Within 15 minutes, firefighters got the blaze under control and were performing CPR on the victim for several minutes. Vigorous attempts at resuscitation continued until an ambulance arrived to rush him to the hospital. He later passed away according to the Benton County Coroner.

The man who attempted a rescue before being forced to retreat was treated for smoke inhalation and taken to a hospital where his condition is unavailable.

The cause of the fire that gutted most of the inside of the small house has not been determined.

The investigation continues.