Man dies in North Wilkesboro house fire

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NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. — One man died and another was taken to the hospital after a house fire early Sunday morning in North Wilkesboro.

According to Fire Chief Niki Hamby, the deadly blaze started in the living room of the home at 1107 E St. around 4:15 a.m. The man who was killed likely died from smoke inhalation, Hamby said.

The man who escaped was taken to Wilkes Regional Hospital for evaluation, Hamby said. His immediate condition was not available.

The two victims are not related, Hamby said.

Hamby said the fireplace was being used at the time the blaze began — and there was a Christmas tree nearby — though investigators have not determined the exact cause.

Hamby said the cause may have instead been electrical. The house was constructed in the 1800s, he said.

Rescuers worked to extinguish the blaze for about two hours and have since been working to control hot spots.

“I appreciate the help from all the departments that assisted. It was a very good response by all,” Hamby said.

Authorities are still investigating.