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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County man is dead after an early-morning house fire. Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the fire that happened before 2 a.m. off Hewett-Burton Road near Leland.

The victim’s name is not being released at this time, but we are told the victim was a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair and was found dead in the living room of his home. The fire marshal says a cigarette caused the fire.

Neighbor Ann McKeel said he was a quiet man who stayed to himself.

“This is very upsetting to me knowing that I always seen him out in the yard, washing his vehicle, and he never bothered me,” McKeel said. “I’m gonna miss seeing him out in the yard. This is a huge shock.”

McKeel said the victim was an older man who did not leave his home much.

An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow in Greenville.

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