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One Adult Dies in Fire

Electric Heater too Close to Combustibles

Contact: John S. Robison, State Fire Marshal

334-241-4166

2/23/2003

One adult was killed Friday evening during at fire at his home in Choctaw County.

Johnny Lee Blanks, age 80, of 82 Tinker Road in Lisman was killed when fire destroyed his one story wood frame home around 5:00 PM February 21st.  Mr. Blanks was at home alone when the fire occurred.

Investigators with the Choctaw County Sheriff’s Office and the Alabama State Fire Marshals Office determined the fire occurred when a portable electric heater was placed too close to curtains in a rear bedroom.  Mr. Blanks used a walker to move about and was found near the walker.  It appeared he had unsuccessfully attempted to escape the fire.

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences has scheduled an autopsy.  Investigators say there were no smoke detectors in the home when the fire occurred.