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SHELBY, N.C. -- Cleveland County officials say a house fire killed a man in Shelby early Friday morning.

The fire was reported about 1:30 a.m. at a two-story house on Sharon Circle, in the southeast part of Shelby.

Howard Dawkins, 48, was killed in the fire that officials are saying started in the garage of the home. Dawkins was the only one at home during the time of the fire, according to investigators.

Neighbors told NewsChannel 36's Amy Cowman they heard an explosion right after the fire started. Dawkins was found in the front bedroom of the home, according to family members.

Fire officials have not yet determined the cause of the fire.

Dawkins would have celebrated his 49th birthday on April 17.

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