An elderly Madison County man died Friday morning in a house fire.
James Drake was killed in a fire at his 1788 Watson Mill Road home near the Gospel Barn around 8:30 a.m. Friday. His wife escaped the blaze but was treated for burns at Athens Regional Medical Center.
According to Carlton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Terry Kidd, an electric blanket reportedly caught fire at the house. Both Mr. and Mrs. Drake left the house and Mr. Drake went back in with a water hose, but never came back out.
Kidd said the state fire marshal is investigating the blaze and must make an official ID of the body, but he said the deceased is believed to be Mr. Drake.
Kidd said the house was consumed by the fire. Carlton, Comer, Hull, Colbert, Danielsville and Ila volunteer firemen responded to the blaze. The firemen battled the fire into the afternoon.