74-year-old man killed in Burke County house fire

- A 74-year-old man was killed in a house fire Tuesday night in Burke County, according to the Chesterfield Fire Department.

The fire happened at a home located on the 2700 block of Piney Road in Morganton.

When firefighters arrived neighbors told them only one person lived at the residence, they could not confirm if the man was home at the time of the fire. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control within an hour but search efforts were hindered due to instability of the structure, according to the Burke fire marshal.

During overhaul operations firefighters found the body of Benjamin Charles Weatherford who had been unable to escape the fire.

One firefighter was taken to CMC Morganton for respiratory distress but is expected to recover.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office and SBI were called to investigate. The accidental fire started in the living room area near a wood burning stove. Investigators do not suspect foul play. An autopsy will be scheduled by the Medical Examiner to determine the exact cause of death.

Several fire crews remain on scene. It's unknown if the fire has been fully extinguished. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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