Arson Suspected in Fire Death

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Clarke County authorities are investigating an early morning house fire Thursday that claimed the life of a Shubuta woman. Investigators believe foul play may be involved.

The fire started around 4:00 a.m. Thursday morning. Emma Jean Lewis and her son managed to escape the home unharmed, but Lewis went back in to retrieve her purse. She never came out. She was found after the fire was extinguished, dead, clutching her purse to her chest.

"Only her and the good Lord know why she did that," said Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp.

Kemp says they don't yet know why the fire started, but foul play could be involved. He said at least one witness believes the fire was set.

The state Fire Marshall has been called in to investigate. He is expected to be in Shubuta Friday. Authorities hope they'll be able to determine the cause, and whether or not the fire was intentionally set.