Clarke County, Miss. A few hot spots and the smell of smoke were still in the air more than 24 hours after firefighters responded to a house fire in the Southern part of Clarke County. That fire, which claimed the life of a man in his mid-40s, is still under investigation, and Clarke County Emergency Manager Eddie Ivy says foul play has been ruled out.
"Preliminary investigation shows that the fire started in the kitchen area. It's still under investigation at this time.
Ivy says that the volume of fire calls has been average, but that this is the county's first fire fatality of the year.
"It's the first one we've had in a couple of years, and it's hopefully not the beginning of something. It's certainly something you don't want to have happen."
Ivy emphasizes that it's extremely important to have smoke detectors in every sleeping area of your house, because a small fire can grow exponentially large in just a very short period of time.
"A fire can go from a very small fire, say in a trashcan, to fully involving a room in less than a couple minutes. It doesn't take long once the fire starts and the heat starts to build until the entire room can be involved. It doesn't take long at all."
The cause of death has yet to be released, and the victim's identity is currently being verified by dental records. A full report from the Clarke County Fire Service will be released once the investigation is complete.