COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Smoke stains and scorched debris are among the remains after an early morning apartment fire on the city’s southwest side.

Firefighters from the Franklin Township Fire Department responded to reports of a deadly fire just after midnight Tuesday at an apartment building in the 700 block of Brown Road, officials said. A 43-year-old man died in the fire, and his wife was taken to Grant Medical Center for treatment.

“I watched the door melt,” Troof Pan, a neighbor of the burning apartment building, said. “I watched the full metal door turn to plastic. It looked like plastic.”

Although Pan said he tried to help after witnessing the fire break out, the flames grew too quickly.

“It wasn’t that much fire at first,” Pan said. “And the moment I’m thinking I probably could save him –explosion. And I’m like, ‘We’ve got to back up.'”

Investigators said the fire likely started in the kitchen but are still working to determine an exact cause.

The sister of the 43-year-old man who died in the fire, whose name has not yet been disclosed by authorities, told NBC4 that “he was a good brother to me and a good son too.”

“We just truly miss him and hope he’s resting now,” she told NBC4 in a statement.

The fire department said it is still working to notify the building’s property management company and will release additional information once the appropriate parties are notified.

“Hug your family,” Pan said. “Time is an illusion, you don’t know when it’s over, when it starts. Just appreciate the moments that we have to be positive with each other.”