Fatal fire ruled accidental

Published 8:49 am Thursday, March 4, 2010

WINDSOR – The fire that caused the death of a Bertie County man has been ruled accidental.

A fire Monday morning destroyed a home on U.S. 13 south of Powellsville and caused the death of the home’s owner.

Bertie County Sheriff John Holley officially released the name of the victim. Lonzie Lee Short Sr., 60, died of smoke inhalation according to an autopsy.

Bertie County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Ed Pitman said the investigation into the fire led to the conclusion that it was accidental.

“Because of how badly the fire burned the house, it was difficult to determine the exact origin,” Det. Sgt. Pittman said. “We will classify it an accidental fire of undetermined origin.”

The Powellsville Volunteer Fire Department was paged out at approximately 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. When they arrived moments later the home was fully engulfed in flames.

The PVFD and Askewville Fire Departments fought the blaze for several hours before extinguishing it.