SACO — A man died early Friday morning when his mobile home caught fire in Saco, authorities said.

He was identified as Larry Tenan, 74.

Tenan lived alone at 7 Fawn Drive in the Blue Haven Mobile Home Park off Route 1, according to his son, Larry W. Tenan.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office considers smoking the likely cause of the fire, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Friday evening. Firefighters had responded to the home in the recent past for a mattress fire started by smoking, he said.

Tenan was a retired South Portland police officer whose health had recently declined, his son said.

At the home Friday, the front portion of the trailer, including the bedroom where Tenan usually slept,was heavily damaged, said Barry Lynch, who lives next door.

Inside, the steel springs of the mattress and the rails of the bed frame were the only recognizable items amid the charred rubble.

Neighbors trickled past the taped-off home to inspect the damage.

Tenan’s son said he had planned to call his father later Friday, but instead was awakened at 6 a.m. by authorities notifying him of his father’s death.

It was not known whether there were smoke detectors in the home.

One passer-by, Barbara Thomas, who lives around the corner, mentioned how the Red Cross went door to door a few months ago offering free smoke detectors.

Current standards for newly constructed mobile homes require hard-wired smoke alarms, or detectors with a 10-year battery life. However, older mobile homes did not have to meet those standards.

Lynch said Tenan had heart trouble and was a smoker, and had to be taken to an area hospital four or five times in the last year because of health problems.

“About a year ago he said, ‘I feel terrible; every day is a struggle,'” Lynch said.

Despite it all, Tenan remained active, coming and going multiple times each day, often waving to neighbors, Lynch said. Although he lived alone most of the time, Tenan occasionally had guests stay with him for long periods.

His son said he liked to play pool in his spare time.

Flames were reported to the Saco Fire Department about 1:45 a.m., and when crews arrived, they found the home nearly engulfed in flames, said Saco Fire Department Capt. Bill Madore.

Firefighters entered the home and found Tenan’s body, Madore said.

Lynch said he was awakened by a neighbor around 2 a.m. and watched fearfully as the flames grew higher, scorching the boughs of a pine tree above the mobile home where Tenan lived.

“There’s a possibility that the trees could have caught on fire and my mobile home could have burned,” Lynch said. “That was a hell of a fire.”