The Portage la Prairie Fire Department, EMS, and local RCMP responded to a house fire Wednesday afternoon on 9th St NE. The house was occupied by a lone elderly man and his pet cat. 

Neighbour Eric Charbonneau shares what he witnessed..

"I came outside for a smoke, and there was nothing. So, after another twenty minutes, I came out for another smoke, and heard a big bang. I noticed all the firetrucks, and the house was in flames."

Eric CharbonneauEric Charbonneau, neighbour

Charbonneau notes he personally did not know the man very well, but chatted on various occasions now and then.

"He was always in his house. He had a little cat and the fire department said his cat didn't make it. And he's in a little bit of rough shape."

Ambulance took the occupant away to the local hospital. 

No further information is available.