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Man found dead; cigarette suspected in bedroom fire

A 64-year-old South Boston man was found dead in his home Thursday afternoon when Turbeville volunteer firefighters responded to a call of smoke coming from the home, according to Halifax County Emergency Services Coordinator Kirby Saunders.

James Jennings of 7175 Philpott Road was pronounced dead at the scene after his certified nursing assistant dropped by his home for a routine visit and saw smoke coming from the house, Saunders said.

According to Saunders, the call came in to the dispatch office at 12:07 p.m., and when Turbeville firefighters arrived on the scene, the fire was out, but smoke had filled the house.

Jennings, who was alone in the house at the time of the fire, was found in a bedroom.

The fire is believed to have started from a cigarette, Saunders said. 

Damage to the house was estimated at between $2,000 and $3,000.

Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department also was called to assist but was cancelled before arriving on scene.

Jennings’ body has been sent to the medical examiner’s office in Richmond for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, Saunders said.

No foul play is suspected in Jennings’ death, according to Halifax County Sheriff Fred Clark.