Two killed in separate house fires

CHATHAM COUNTY and JOHNSTON COUNTY The first fire was reported around 2 a.m. Thursday on Luther Road in Chatham County. That's located off of NC 751.

Firefighters recovered one body from the home but have not made a positive identification because of the condition of the remains.

Eyewitness News talked to a neighbor who said he knew the woman who lived in the house.

"This morning I heard about a fire at Chatham County on Luther Road and I told my daughter, I said, 'That's right there behind us,'" neighbor Travis Arnetta Bland told Eyewitness News. "And I rode down here and I told her, I said, 'That's Kim's house.'"

Investigators say 37-year-old Kimberly Mason's home went up in flames with her inside.

"I really don't like it at all, but I can't explain it, but it's a hurtful thing," Bland said.

Mason's relatives and Bland, who attend elementary and middle schools with Mason, say what makes the situation more tragic is the timing.

"It's just sad to know two tragic losses so close together in the same family," Bland said.

The family buried Mason's mother Wednesday.

Investigators initially thought a faulty heater may have sparked the flames, but the cause is undetermined.

"Kim was real sweet and loving person and I hate this happened and I want to know why it happened, but I just don't understand this," Bland said.

Investigators have not confirmed the cause of the fire, and the investigation is ongoing.

In the second fire, Johnston County firefighters were dispatched to a home on Woodall Dairy Road just before 7 a.m.

After extinguishing the fire, they found a body. Preliminary reports indicate the cause of the fire is cigarette-related.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News the man who lived in the home was in his 50s and lived alone. They also said he had lived in the house for moe than 30 years.

Authorities have not released the man's name.

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