UPDATED: Man dies in early morning house fire

NEW HOPE — A house fire in New Hope left one man dead in the early morning of Jan. 15.

According the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Ray and Lynell Miller, both 61 years old, were inside their home on New Hope Cedar Point Road when Lynell awoke to her cat, which alerted her to a fire near space heaters in the home. After the Millers awoke and realized the situation, they attempted to put out the fire.

Lynell made it out of the house and sought a neighbor for help. Police said the 911 call came in at approximately 12:30 a.m. Several were reported to have responded to the incident, including multiple police and fire departments.

Ray was unable to make it out of the home after inhaling a great deal of smoke and perished. Lynell survived with no injuries. Their pets survived as well.

Police said the home is a “total loss” after the fire.

MCSO Public Information Officer Lt. Donny Shaw said the state fire marshal was investigating the cause of the outbreak, but signs seemed to be pointing to the space heater as a likely culprit.

According to a 2015 post from the Electrical Safety Foundation International, heating equipment is the second leading cause of house fires in the United States. For a list of safety tips to protect yourself against heating equipment-related fires, visit esfi.org.

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