A house fire in Woodbury early Tuesday left one man dead despite a neighbor’s rescue attempt, Woodbury Police Commander John Altman said.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office identified the man as Eddie L. Woodson, 65.

Altman said fire and police personnel responded about 6:19 a.m. to a report of a fire at 397 Meadow Lane.

“They were able to begin suppression efforts immediately and get the fire knocked down from the outside enough to make an interior approach, and when they did so they located a deceased person inside the residence,” he said.  

There was no one else home at the time, he said.

Neighbor Josh Anderson said his wife Randi was awakened around 6 a.m. by their dogs barking. When Anderson checked his security cameras, he said he saw a flash across the street.

“In six minutes, it went from a flash to 30-foot-high flames,” he said.

Anderson told his wife to call 911 and then ran across the street to the burning house.

He said he ran to a side door and tried to kick it in but couldn't. He managed to kick open the front door. He crouched and tried to crawl inside but was repulsed by heavy smoke.

“It came like a punch in the face,” he said.

Other neighbors converged on the property. One tried to gain entrance by throwing a rock through a window, Anderson said.

The cause of death is still under investigation.

The neighborhood, Woodbury Heights, is the oldest residential development in Woodbury, Altman said.