Hardin County Man Dies in Cooking Fire

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COUNCE, Tenn. — Hardin County firefighters said a man is dead in an Easter morning fire, and officials say is their first deadly fire in years. Jason West , the victim’s neighbor, describes the frantic fight to save his neighbor, 28-year-old Matthew Allen Morgan, who Hardin County firefighters said died of smoke inhalation in a cooking fire Sunday morning. “There was a pot, cooking pot on the eye on the stove on a electric stove that was melted,” Melvin Martin said, Hardin County Fire Chief. Chief Martin said this is the first deadly fire in eight years. Officials said remains of what could have been Morgan’s dinner were found on the scene. “We also found some french fries that were sitting near that location,” Martin said. Firefighters said West made the call for help around 12:30 a.m., after waking up to a fire alarm and struggling to open Morgan’s door. The two lived in the same duplex on Highway 57 in Counce. “Everything was full of smoke in our apartment,” West said. “We come over here called 911 and you know tried to see what was going on and get everything took care of.” Officials said Morgan’s dog survived the fire; West said he gave the dog to the victim’s son. West, who just moved to the apartment in March, said he believes the wall separating the duplex spared his family. “All day (Sunday) was kinda like a dream,” West said. “But you know it’s kinda more reality today and just trying to wait and see what’s happening if we gotta move again or what.” Chief Martin said the victim’s son was not home at the time of the blaze. Firefighters said there were two smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher inside the apartment. West said for now his family is staying with friends.

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