LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — An elderly Frederick County, Maryland man was mauled to death Wednesday by an 84 pound pit bull while he tried to take down a Christmas tree, authorities say.

Police say Eugene Smith, 87, was on the ground attempting to take down the Christmas tree at home when the dog attacked him.

Police officers and animal control officers were called to the home around 2:24 p.m. and saw the dog attacking Smith. They immediately contained the dog.

Smith sustained severe injuries and was transported to Frederick Memorial Hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.

The dog was a pit bull rescue, and lived in the home with Smith, his son and son’s fiancé, since May. At the time of the incident, the only person home with Smith was Smith’s son’s fiancé.

Police say the dog was removed from the home by Frederick County Animal Control and euthanized.

The Frederick County Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating Smith’s death.

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