Bear Creek man loses life in house fire

Firefighters found Charles Ward lying on the floor just inside the front door of his home in Bear Creek.

BEAR CREEK        - A house fire proved fatal for a Bear Creek man, who was found by firefighters near the front door of his home while fire raged toward the back of the residence.
Charles Edward Ward, 75, was removed from the burning home by members of the Bear Creek Fire Department, who requested response from Marion County EMS, pointed out Bear Creek Fire Chief Adam Loden.
Ward, who reportedly had suffered smoke inhalation, was pronounced dead around 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 1,  on the scene by medics, officials on the scene said.  His body was picked up from the scene by Pinkard Funeral Home in Haleyville, which handled arrangements, Loden stated.
The fire department

was called to Ward’s double wide manufactured home located at 9314 State Highway 241, around 2 p.m., Loden said.
“A passerby saw smoke coming from the eave of the house,” Loden stated. “The call came over as a structure fire. They didn’t know anyone was inside until they got there.”
Bear Creek firefighters responded with two pumper trucks and a tanker truck, requesting assistance from Hackleburg, which responded with a unit and manpower, fire officials said.
“When they pulled up, heavy smoke was
coming from the house,” said Loden. “No flames were showing up front.”
Firefighters geared up to fight the fire and opened the front door to make entry, where  they discovered Ward lying unconscious on the floor  approximately two-three feet from the front door, said Loden.
Firefighters at this point removed Ward from the residence, requesting medical assistance, fire officials said.  After Ward was removed, firefighters made entry to fight the fire, finding flames in the rear bedroom, firefighters on the scene said.
“It was pretty much contained to the back bedroom,” said Loden, adding heavy heat and smoke damage occurred to the remainder of the residence.
Investigation into the cause of the fire has been turned over to the Alabama Fire Marshal’s Office.


See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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