PATCHOGUE - A house fire in Patchogue left one man dead today despite a neighbor's efforts to save him.

Officials say the fire broke out at around 11 a.m. on the second floor of a house on Howard Street, trapping 56-year-old Brian Nolan.

Neighbor Frank Fredrich says the flames and smoke were so thick that he couldn't fight his way through to rescue Nolan.

Moments later, firefighters arrived on the scene and were able to work their way upstairs and pull Nolan out, but it was too late. He died at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center. No one else was at the house at the time of the fire.

Still, firefighters are praising Fredrich, who is himself an FDNY firefighter, for running into the burning house without any safety gear and doing a preliminary search of the first floor.

Suffolk police say arson investigators are currently calling the fire an accident that was possibly caused by an electrical problem on the second floor.