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One dead following house fire in Audrain County Saturday

One person is dead following a fire in Audrain County early Saturday morning.

AUDRAIN COUNTY -- One person is dead following a fire in Audrain County early Saturday morning. Little Dixie Fire Protection District Chief Kenneth Hoover told KRCG 13 the body of Paula Sites, 64, was found inside the garage of the home nearly eight hours after crews responded.

Hoover said a neighbor noticed flames at the house along the 13000 block of Audrain County Road 208, around 2:30 Saturday morning and called 911. Hoover said Little Dixie Fire Protect District Station Three responded thirteen minutes later and found the entire structure engulfed in flames.

Once on scene, Hoover said his crews began to look for Sites, believing she was still inside. He said they found a car in the garage, but did not find Sites' body until 10 a.m. while digging around the structure after the flames had been extinguished.

Fire marshals from the Little Dixie Fire Protection District and state determined the fire started in the center of the house around a wood pellet stove, though it's unclear if the stove was the cause of the fire. Hoover said there was too much damage to determine exactly what started the fire. The home is a complete loss.

Little Dixie Fire Protection District deployed 24 firefighters from three of its stations and got the assistance of a tanker from the Boone County Fire Protection District, Hoover said.

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