Fatal fire under investigation in Center Point

Fatal fire under investigation in Center Point

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Investigators believe the fire may have started in the kitchen around 10 p.m. The exact cause is still under investigation. (Photo: WBRC video) Investigators believe the fire may have started in the kitchen around 10 p.m. The exact cause is still under investigation. (Photo: WBRC video)
Firefighters put out the blaze at a home on Woodland Court Northeast. One man was killed. Source: WBRC video Firefighters put out the blaze at a home on Woodland Court Northeast. One man was killed. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Center Point firefighters are investigating a deadly blaze that broke out late Monday night.

Firefighters responded to a fire at a home in the 400 block of Woodland Court Northeast around 10 p.m. Monday. The homeowner was able to make it out alive, but his friend did not survive.

The homeowner told deputies he was watching TV in the basement when he heard a popping noise from above. When he went upstairs he found the kitchen on fire. The homeowner had a friend staying with him who was sleeping on a couch in the living room, so he woke him up and the two men headed for the door, according to Chief Deputy Randy Christian.

At some point, the friend turned around saying he needed to get something from a bedroom and went back inside the burning house. The resident escaped but his friend never made it back out. Deputies say the man's body was found in the bedroom floor. He has been identified as Wendell Smith.

"I don't know what would be so valuable that you would lose your life over. We see that all the time. It's a very tragic tragic fire that should have never happened," Christian said.

Investigators believe the fire may have started from food left cooking on the stove. The exact cause is still under investigation.

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