HOUSTON -

Firefighters discovered a man's body while battling a house fire in northwest Houston.

When the fire broke out around 12:30 p.m. Sunday at a home off the North Loop near North Main Street, neighbors called 911 and then rushed to help the man they called Junior. 

"My uncle thought it was possibly a barbeque or something," said Jarvis Maggett, a neighbor.  "Just a little bit of time passed by, and I noticed the flames not only coming from the front, but they were coming out the top [of the house]."

Firefighters responded in minutes to battle the heavy flames.  They pulled the victim out of the house and performed CPR on him before sending him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"At this point, we don't know whether or not it's foul play, or if it's going to be related to the fire," said Steve Straughter, an investigator with HPD Homicide.

Mary Stephens lives next door to Junior, and she said he grew up with her children.  She said he had lived in the home alone since his mother passed away years ago.

"He was very smart," Stephens said.  "He was a loner and very intelligent.  He was a graduate of Reagen High School, and he went to A&M [for] college."

Although neighbors told Local 2 the identity of the victim, authorities have not confirmed it. 

The cause of death is pending the results of an autopsy.