Panama City Fire Department responded to the house on Buena vVsta Boulevard at approximately 11:30 last night. When they contained the fire, they found 39-year-old Sean McDuffie's body still inside.
"I came around the back and all I saw was fire truck, fire truck, fire truck, fire truck," said neighbor Megan Sizmur. "Cops were in my yard and ambulances were everywhere."
Sizmur and other neighbors were up most of the night as firefighters contained the fire and secured the area.
"It was so real," said Sizmur. "Smoke was all over. I couldn't even really breath."
"They kept another fire truck out here all night it seemed like and I woke up today and they had it all cautioned off."
Foul play was not suspected at the time of the fire, but investigators from the Panama City Police Department and the State Fire Marshal's Office did follow up with a death investigation.
"As with any death investigation we don't rule out anything until the very end," said Detective Raymond Perkins with Panama City Police. "We make sure everything is covered."
That investigation completed late Thursday afternoon and concluded McDuffie died from smoke inhalation. Neighbors say they knew the victim briefly and in fact has spoken to him the day before the fire.
"He came and knocked on my door earlier than day and asking me if I had lost a collar for one of my dogs," said Sizmur. "He seemed really nice, but that was the only time I had ever really talked to him."
McDuffie's next of kin were notified by a law enforcement agency out of Mississippi in conjunction with the Panama City Police Department.
The State Fire Marshal's office concluded their investigation this afternoon and ruled the fire accidental after food was left cooking on the stove.