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One dies in house fire
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Viola and Morrison volunteer firefighters respond to a Thursday morning fire on Chestnut Grove Road off Mt. Zion Road in a rural part of the county.

A 47-year-old man is presumed dead after a body has been recovered from the rubble of a Thursday morning house fire.

Home owner Troy Lavalley is believed to have died in the fire on Chestnut Grove Road in the Mt. Zion community.

“There has been a body recovered from the house,” said Sheriff Jackie Matheny. “The identity has not been confirmed. That will require dental records.”

A woman and her 7-year-old twins escaped the fire unharmed.

“I was frantic,” said Patricia Snyder, who escaped with the clothes on her back. “I woke up and there was smoke everywhere. I grabbed my kids and got them out of there. One of them was still in his underwear. I couldn’t get upstairs to him. The smoke was too thick.”

Mr. Lavalley was reportedly sleeping in an upstairs bedroom near the spot where the fire is believed to have originated. The first witnesses on the scene said the fire was coming from that part of the house. While law enforcement officials have not confirmed the body to be that of Mr. Lavalley, he was there the night before and his vehicle was still in the driveway.

For more information, see Sunday’s edition.