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Man dies in Morgan Co. house fire

December 11, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- A man died Friday in a house fire in the 1200 block of Jim West Road, east of Berkeley Springs, according to the Morgan County Sheriff's Department.

Chief Deputy Tony Link said authorities did not suspect foul play.

An autopsy was ordered by Morgan County Medical Examiner Stephen McBee to confirm the identity of the badly burned body, Link said.

McBee said the body would be examined in Charleston, W.Va.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but authorities found the chimney flue of the small house had no liner, Link said.

"We definitely think the death was fire-related," Link said.

The victim was found toward the back of the one-story home, which Link said was in poor condition before it burned.

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No one else was living at the home about six miles from Berkeley Springs off Pious Ridge Road.

Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief James Steiner said firefighters were dispatched to the blaze at 12:53 p.m. and had it under control in about an hour.

About 30 firefighters responded from Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Department, South Morgan Co. Volunteer Fire Department and Hancock, Steiner said.

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