It's unknown how the fire was extinguished and the exact cause of Albert Mohr's death is also unknown until results of a pending autopsy are released, said Mount Shasta City Fire Chief Matt Melo.

A 98 year-old man died Monday evening in an house fire that was extinguished before firefighters arrived at the home in the 1000 block of Ream Avenue.

It’s unknown how the fire was extinguished and the exact cause of Albert Mohr’s death is also unknown until results of a pending autopsy are released, said Mount Shasta City Fire Chief Matt Melo.

Mt. Shasta Fire was dispatched to an unknown type medical aid at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 2, along with the Mount Shasta Police Department, said Melo.

Upon arrival, police and fire personnel found an extinguished structure fire, Melo said. As crews made entry, they found Mohr deceased.

“Mt. Shasta Fire is working in conjunction with MSPD and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department to determine the cause of the fire, said Melo.

Melo took the opportunity to offer some safety tips for residents during the winter months.

“Smoke alarms are essential in preventing deaths and injuries from residential structure fires,” Melo said. “The minimal effort of changing the batteries twice a year could mean the difference between life and death. Please take a moment to test your smoke alarms to ensure that they are in proper working order.”

Additionally, carbon monoxide detectors should be utilized in the home, Melo said. Combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should not be used. Smoke detectors should be located high on a wall or ceiling and carbon monoxide detectors should be located low on the wall.

“Inspect your wood stove annually for cracks, inspect legs, hinges, and door seals for smooth joints and seams,” Melo said. Use only dry, seasoned wood for fuel, not green wood, artificial logs, or trash. Do not store wood near the wood stove or any other heating source. Never, ever, utilize flammable liquids to assist in starting your fire. Inspect and clean your pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions,” said Melo.

He also reminded residents to allow ashes to cool before disposing of them.

“Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings,” he said. “Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.”

Melo recommended that residents buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories. Check to make sure it has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over. Heaters are not dryers or tables; don’t dry clothes or store objects on top of your heater. Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip. Always unplug your electric space heater when not in use.

“Following these few simple tips can help to keep you and your family safe during the winter months and all year long,” said Melo.