- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

LAFAYETTE, Ga. (AP) - State fire officials say a malfunctioning wood burning stove led to a house fire that killed a Walker County man.

Investigators from the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner ‘s office said in a statement that 60-year-old Peter Whittenberger died in a fire Thursday morning that caused heavy damage to his home in Lafayette.

Investigators say the stove was in the living room of the house and no smoke detectors were found inside the man’s home. The commissioner’s spokesman Glen Allen says Whittenberger’s body was found in a living room chair and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says having a smoke alarm doubles the chances of surviving a house fire and 87 Georgians have been killed in fires in 2014.

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