Man dies in house fire

A house fire killed an 81-year-old man Friday morning in the Oxford community.

Fire burned the home at 4086 Hall Dairy Road north of Claremont. The man's identity was not released Friday.

“At this point, there’s probably going to be a loss of life,” Oxford Fire Chief Wayne Smith said at the scene, adding that fire marshals, the sheriff’s office and State Bureau of Investigation are still investigating the fire. Officials said they do not believe arson was the cause.

Oxford firefighters responded to the fire on Hall Dairy Road about 9:22 a.m. Friday after neighbors reported smoke coming from the home, Smith said.

He said firefighters arrived to heavy smoke and a report of someone inside the burning home. Claremont Fire Department was also called to the scene, and it took firefighters 15 minutes to control the fire that Smith described as “smoldering.”

The fire was contained to two rooms, which were destroyed. The rest of the house was damaged by heat, Smith said.

It is unclear how many people lived at the residence, but the victim was the only person inside the house when firemen arrived.

A fire marshal investigating the blaze did not immediately return a call Friday.