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Man dies in Madison County house fire while trying to extinguish the flames

NEW HOPE, Ala. — Police say a man is dead after his home caught fire in Madison County.

Ray Miller, 61, died at the home while fighting the fire Tuesday morning, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

The call came in just after 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Miller’s wife told investigators that she was awoken by a cat, then she found a fire near space heaters in a different room.

Investigators say she woke her husband up and ran across the street to call for help while he stayed in the home and tried to extinguish the fire.

“Evidently the family did not have a telephone service in the house or cell phones that would work in that area,” said Lt. Donny Shaw with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

Multiple agencies responded and extinguished the fire, but found that Miller had succumbed to the smoke and died. The man died trying to save his home.

“If that’s their home, and they own it, and that’s all they have, then that might be the intuitive thing to grab a fire extinguisher and try to save their house,” Lt. Shaw said.

The home on the 1700 block of New Hope Cedar Point Rd is a total loss, according to police.

Lt. Shaw says this is a somber reminder that you have to take the proper precautions when trying to put out flames.

“There comes a point whenever the smoke gets so heavy and the fire gets so intense that you have to leave,” he said.

Responders to the incident included Madison County Sheriff’s Office, New Hope Police, New Hope Volunteer Fire Department, Owens Cross Roads Volunteer Fire Department, Red Cross, and HEMSI.

The state fire marshal is still working to confirm the cause of the fire, but it initially appears to have started from the space heater, according to Lt. Shaw.

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