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Man, 80, dies in fire in room at assisted living center in West Palm Beach

Cause of fire at Colonial Assisted Living under investigation
Chopper 5 above fire at Colonial Assisted Living, May 11, 2022
Posted at 8:38 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 10:37:04-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — An 80-year-old resident at an assisted living facility died after a fire in his room early Wednesday morning, West Palm Beach police confirmed Wednesday night.

Shortly before 6 a.m., West Palm Beach police and fire rescue dispatched crews to Colonial Assisted Living at 2090 N. Congress Ave. for a reported fire.

Medical staff from the assisted living facility attempted to reach the victim in his room but they were driven back by heavy smoke, according to Mike Jachles, a spokesman for the police department.

Firefighters quickly contained the fire to the second-floor room. The victim, Andre Bellanger, died at the scene.

Colonial Assisted Living sign, where fire erupted, May 11, 2022
A fire broke out inside a room at Colonial Assisted Living, May 11, 2022, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Smoke alarms were sounding at the time of the fire, according to detectives.

The cause and origin of the fire is being investigated by fire inspectors from West Palm Beach and detectives from the Florida Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives Investigations.

The Palm Beach County medical examiner's office will determine the cause and manner of death.

West Palm Beach police are investigating the death.

The senior center, according to its website, offers "fully furnished options or can coordinate your own furniture to be transferred for additional comfort and familiarity. "