Officials investigate cause of fire that killed Alexander Co. woman

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TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. - Firefighters from five departments fought a fire on Tuesday that killed a woman in Alexander County.

Fire investigators were at the scene for more than five hours trying to figure out the cause of the fire.

When the first firefighters arrived at the home on Willard Mecimore Road, flames had already burned through the roof. 

The initial call went out shortly before 9 a.m., but several hours later, firefighters were still putting out hot spots.

The fire marshal said a woman in her late 70s died in the fire. He has not released her name, but did say he is pretty certain the fire started in the kitchen area. Right now, he does not see anything suspicious but it will take more time to pinpoint the cause.

“The occupant heated her house with some electric heaters, so I can't rule that out,” Fire Marshal Russell Greene said. “We did have a report of a faulty light fixture in the structure -- can't rule that out.”

Firefighters said the temperature did drop into the mid-40s in the area overnight.  Investigators believe the fire may have been burning for some time before someone driving by on the main road spotted the smoke and called 911.