Arkansas man dies in house fire trying to save children

An Arkansas man died Wednesday morning as he tried to rescue two children trapped in a burning home.

A North Little Rock, Ark., Fire Department official said 40 year-old Jean Bingangou died from apparent smoke inhalation at the scene of the blaze.

Three adults, including Bingangou and his girlfriend, Angelique Thomas, were sitting outside when they noticed a fire inside the home, according to a report from the North Little Rock Police Department. Thomas and Bingangou ran into the house to rescue two children, aged 1 and 4, and Thomas and the children made it safely outside -- but Bingangou never came out.

“He opened a bedroom door and it appears that he inhaled that toxic smoke and that just put him down right there," Little Rock Fire Marshal John Plasterer told Fox News.

Plasterer said an initial investigation showed an overheated electric cord connected to an air conditioner was the likely cause of the fire. He noted there was a bed pushed up against the cord.

“It had pillows and blankets and the weight of the bed against the cord. And what that does is that creates resistance heating,” Plasterer said. “Heat builds up in that cord and around the materials because it has no place to go.”

The official cause of the fire is still under investigation.