A man who died in a morning fire might have stayed inside his burning house to look for his dog, according to investigators.
Authorities found Richard Fields, 74, dead near the kitchen of his Lenoir County home.
Authorities say Fields woke up his wife early Saturday morning, and told her to leave because the house was on fire.
They live on Hamm St., off Highway 258 in the northern part of the county.
The wife left, thinking her husband was right behind her, but he did not make it out.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, and is believed to have started near a water heater.
Investigators say the fire does not appear to be suspicious.