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Memorial services set for two men who died in a house fire - KOAM TV 7

Memorial services set for two men who died in a Joplin house fire

Updated January 14, 2011 at 4:30 PM CST:  Monte Stratton, 54, died on Wednesday when his house caught fire in Joplin.  Services will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church at 2616 Connecticut in Joplin.

Stratton's roommate, Gary Miller, 49, will also be remembered at visitation services on Monday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Parker Mortuary.

The two men died from smoke inhalation after their house caught fire early Wednesday morning.

Fire officials say an overloaded circuit caused the fire.  They say the two victims were using an electric space heater.

Updated January 13, 2011 at 4:30 PM CST:  The Jasper County coroner tells us Monte Statton, 54, and Gary Miller, 49, died of smoke inhalation during a fire early Wednesday morning.

Updated January 13, 2011 at 3:50 PM CST:  The Joplin Fire Department says a fire that killed two men Wednesday morning was caused by an overloading of an electrical circuit that had an electric space heater operating from it.

Updated January 12, 2011 at 6:15 PM CST:  Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles says they are fairly certain of the cause of a fire that killed two Joplin men, but want to wait for autopsy results to confirm the findings.

The fire chief says the fire that killed Monte Statton, 54, and Gary Miller, 49, was not suspicious in nature.

Local and state authorities are investigating the fire at 2320 East Utica in the Royal Heights area.  Fire officials say the fire started in the back corner of the house early today.

Inside the home, authorities discovered the bodies of the two residents.

"Depending on the time of day, vehicles at a residence or not, we always perform a primary search - found one victim during primary search," says Battalion Chief Charles Copple.  "We were told by neighbors there had been two people staying at the house.  We later did a secondary search (and) discovered the second victim." 

Updated January 12, 2011 at 4:25 PM CST:  The Joplin Fire Department has released the names of two men killed in an early morning fire.

Monte Stratton, 54, and Gary Miller, 49, were identified as the two victims.

Joplin Fire has yet to release the cause of the fire but in a news release says "preliminary findings indicate that the fire is not suspicious in nature".

Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:06 PM CST:  Neighbors call it a tragedy saying those who lived at 2301 East Utica were caring and friendly.

The fire was reported around 2:30 a.m.

Neighbors say the home is owned by Monte Stratton and that his daughter told them he perished in the fire.

Neighbors say they heard an explosion.

The garage and back of the house show heavy fire damage.

Fire investigators are on the scene looking for the cause with the assistance of the Joplin Police Department and state fire marshal.

Eight Joplin fire units responded in the bitter cold to fight the flames.

There were no injuries to the fire crews.

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