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LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — A fire that destroyed a Lee County home and left a woman dead Sunday night likely was accidental.

Coroner Caroline Green and Sheriff’s investigators say a preliminary autopsy report shows 47-year-old Sandra Bradley died from smoke inhalation when she was unable to escape her burning home on County Road 395 near Birmingham Ridge.

The fire was reported at about 10:30 p.m. but her body was not found in the home’s laundry room until several hours later. Firefighters feared she might have been trapped in the home when a trace on her cell phone indicated it was still inside the burned structure.

Sheriff’s Arson Investigator Brian Kilgore says the cause of the fire has yet to be determined but it likely will be ruled accidental.

“The preliminary autopsy shows she died of smoke inhalation, not blunt force trauma or anything like that. We’re still investigating but right now, it appears she died as a result of an accidental fire,” Kilgore said.

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