- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

MADISON, Ga. (AP) - Investigators say a space heater appears to be to blame for a fire that killed a Morgan County man on Christmas morning.

The office of Georgia Insurance and Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says that 54-year-old James White died in the fire that began at his home about 2 a.m. Thursday. The blaze destroyed the residence in Madison, about 30 miles south of Athens.

An initial investigation found that the fire started near a space heater.

The National Fire Protection Association’s most recent estimates say that heating equipment contributes to more than 53,000 home fires each year, with 400 deaths.

Space heaters are estimated to account for about a third of home fires and four out of five fatalities.

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