BOSTON (WHDH) - Fire officials are investigating an early morning blaze in Roxbury that left one dead and one hospitalized after firefighters struggled with “hoarding conditions” inside the building.

Firefighters responding to a reported structure fire on Rockland Street around 4 a.m. found heavy fire and smoke coming from the third floor of a house and ordered a second alarm, officials said.

Neighbors described a frightening scene.

“It was real scary, real scary,” said Linda Lewis. “I came outside and I looked around and I see the smoke coming out of the air conditioner on the 3rd floor of that next apartment.”

Fire officials later confirmed that a 51-year-old man died in the fire and one resident was hospitalized.

Crews said hoarding conditions inside the building hindered their ability to fight the fire.

“Because of some hoarding conditions… it took us a while,” said Deputy Fire Chief Andre Stallworth. “In fact we had to take line over the 3rd floor to get to the top floor.”

And the hot weather meant firefighters had to take extra precautions.

“Because of the hot conditions, we have to rotate members out, keep them hydrated,” Stallworth said.

“With all the head and humidity… those guys need to be commended,” said neighbor Troy Williams. “Pray that they don’t have to deal with this again this weekend.”

The blaze caused an estimated $350,000 in damage.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest details.

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