By Tashanea Whitlow

BOSTON (CBS) – People who live on Rockland Street sending their condolences, after learning their neighbor was killed in a house fire this morning.

The Boston Fire Department said a man in his 50s died in the fire. An elderly woman, who neighbors described as the victim’s mother, is now without a place to stay after the fire ripped through their Roxbury home.

“I woke up to the smoke and coughing, so I thought it was my home at first. But then when I came outside, I realized it wasn’t my house, it was my neighbors’,” said a neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke pouring out of the home at approximately 4 a.m.

Fire officials say hoarding conditions made it difficult for them to fight the blaze. Neighbors were stunned by the conditions.

“We didn’t know she was living like that. It’s just sad,” said a second neighbor, who also preferred to have her name withheld.

Hot and humid temperatures made conditions difficult for firefighters. To assure everyone stayed hydrated and cool, crews were forced to rotate. It took firefighters about 45 minutes to knock the fire down.

The fire department estimated about $350,000 in damages. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Tashanea Whitlow

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