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Sheriff Jim McVicker said a fire late Wednesday evening has resulted in the death of the homeowner.

Joyce Beard Dowless, age 82, was found dead in her home located at 8511 NC Hwy 41, Bladenboro following a late night fire.

A passing motorist saw flames coming from the house and stopped to get a neighbor to call 911 at approximately 11:45 Wednesday night. Flames could be seen coming out a window that was later identified as the bedroom of the deceased.

Fire officials were able to extinguish the fire and locate the victim. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Bladen County Fire Marshall and the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.

There are no further details available at this time.

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