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Man dies in house fire

It took four hours for firefighters to extinguish the house fire at 105 Wedgewood Drive in Tranter’s Creek Estates. Jeffrey Lee Warren, 55, died in the early morning fire off U.S. Highway 264 in western Beaufort County. (WDN Photo/Mona Moore)

A fire that took the life of a Beaufort County man early Friday — his birthday — remains under investigation.

Jeffrey Lee Warren, 55, died in the early morning fire at 105 Wedgewood Drive in Tranter’s Creek Estates of U.S. Highway 264 in western Beaufort County.

Firefighters with the Clark’s Neck, Old Ford and Washington fire departments responded to the fire after a neighbor noticed flames and reported the fire to authorities about 4:33 a.m. It took about four hours to extinguish the fire, according to fire officials.

Maj. Kenneth Watson with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office was at the scene Friday afternoon. He said the home was a total loss and the cause of the fire remains under investigation. The fire caused the house’s roof to collapse.

  • Click HERE for a photo gallery of the scene.

“We’re working on that now,” Watson said Friday afternoon. “We have the SBI (State Bureau of Investigation) in helping with the processing of the … scene. That will probably take the rest of the day.”

Shortly after entering the burning house, firefighters found Warren’s body in the living room near the front door, according to a press release issued by the sheriff’s office about 5 p.m. Friday. Warren was pronounced dead at the scene.

Evidence collected at the scene indicates the fire was accidental in nature, the release notes.

Medical reports indicate Warren’s death was caused by smoke and toxic-vapor inhalation as a result of the fire, according to the release. No foul play is suspected, according to the release.

Beaufort County Fire Marshal Curtis Avery responded to the fire scene to investigate the fatal blaze. Contacted about 10:30 a.m. Friday, Avery said Watson is serving as the public-information officer for media inquiries about the fire.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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