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Elderly man dies in Hyde house fire

By By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
An elderly Hyde County man died Saturday morning when his two-story home was destroyed by fire.
Hinton Leslie Clayton, 95, of 7762 N.C. Highway 45, Ponzer, was killed in the blaze that engulfed his 1940s house some time before 11 a.m. About 25 firefighters from Beaufort and Hyde counties responded to the scene, which has a Belhaven address, but is about 8 miles east of the Beaufort County town.
Officials believe the fire started in a laundry room in the rear of the house, but the cause of the fire remains unknown.
Officials believe Clayton died of smoke inhalation.
Hyde County Sheriff David Mason said he does not believe the fire was suspicious in nature.
Pungo River Fire Department was the first to arrive at Clayton’s home. Emergency response units from Belhaven, Scranton and Swan Quarter provided mutual aid.
Authorities aren’t sure how long the fire might have raged before a call for help was placed.