Man killed, dog hurt in early morning house fire


by Marcy McMacken

Tess Rafols and Casey James

Posted on November 23, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 27 at 6:23 PM

Map: Cave Creek and Lone Mountain roads

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CAVE CREEK, Ariz. -- One man was killed and a dog was injured in an early morning house fire in Cave Creek.

The fire started in the garage of a home near Cave Creek and Lone Mountain roads at just after 6:20 a.m. Saturday, Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ruben Saavedra said.

The victim has been identified as Carl Zeman, 44.

When firefighters from Phoenix and Scottsdale arrived on scene, the home's garage was fully engulfed in flames and smoke.

While battling the flames, firefighters found Zeman and a dog inside the house. Crews rescued both.

Zeman was in extremely critical condition when he was rushed to a local hospital where he later died.

It's not known what type of injuries the dog suffered.

During the rescue, sections of the home's roof began to cave in. Tiles were falling to the ground as the firefighters dragged Zeman and the dog outside. 

"What happens with a lot of these newer homes, you can tell, we have the roof tiles that are real heavy, lightweight construction, so a lot of times these fires, within a few minutes they're going to start to collapse," Saavedra said.

No firefighters were injured.

At this point, it's not clear what sparked the fire.

"As in all death investigations, Phoenix police detectives responded to the scene, but the initial indications are that criminal activity does not seem to be a factor," Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.

Phoenix Fire Department arson investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.