NORTH HIGHLANDS (CBS13) – A North Highlands man is dead after a fire tore through his home early on July 5.

Investigators are now working to learn whether illegal fireworks are to blame for this deadly fire

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A neighbor who didn’t want to appear on camera lives next door. The flames from the fire were so big, you could see them captured on her surveillance camera.

“As soon as I opened up my door, all I see was flames everywhere,” she said.

She came outside to see her neighbor’s 12-year-old daughter on the front lawn across the street. She had escaped from her bedroom window.

“I ran across the street and she was just sitting there by herself crying,” she said.

The victim was a foreman who worked for Eric Veale for six years. Veale says his friend and colleague was hardworking and smart. He had just bought this house six months ago. Veale went right to the hospital to see his friend after he heard what happened.

“He didn’t even look like my buddy. We were close man, and to see him like that…,” he said.

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A flood of reports of illegal fireworks was sent in by neighbors on July 4th.

Investigators are now looking into whether that’s what started this deadly fire. If that’s the case, what charges could someone who set off those deadly fireworks face?

Attorneys say the punishment depends on the details of the case, but the person responsible could face federal charges and even involuntary manslaughter charges.

Attorney Justin Ward said, “Using a fire or using a gun negligently, there’s no difference,  they’re both things that if used wrong could lead to somebody being seriously injured or dying.”

But experts say finding who​ set off the deadly firework is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Ward said, “The question is like all other crimes, does somebody know something, and are they willing to speak about it?”

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Fire crews say the fire started in the front yard and spread to the house and the house. The coroner has not yet identified the victim.