Victim ID'd in fatal house fire

Police say James Shalman Hunter, 58, was found dead inside this home at 922 Paw Paw Avenue in Benton Township after an early morning fire on Tuesday.

BENTON TOWNSHIP — Police have released the name of the man who died in a fire at his house early Tuesday morning.

Benton Township Police Detective Sgt. Steven Morrow said that James Shalman Hunter, 58, died of smoke inhalation, according to preliminary autopsy results. 

Benton Township police were called at 5:43 a.m. Tuesday on a report of a structure fire at 922 Paw Paw Ave. in the township. The Benton Township Fire Department also responded, and officers and firefighters found the small house engulfed in heavy smoke and flames.

Once the fire was out and firefighters were able to get inside, they found a man, Hunter, dead inside. He was the sole occupant of the house, police said.

The fire is being investigated by the Michigan State Police FIre Marshall, and a cause had not been determined as of Wednesday, Morrow said. 

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