CENTER POINT, Ala. (WIAT) — One man is dead and fire investigators are searching for answers after a late night fire at a Magnolia Gardens townhome in Center Point. Just after 11 p.m. on Thursday, two people reportedly were awakened by a smoke alarm. One person was able to make it out in time, but the other person, 72-year-old William Neal Meade, perished inside the home.

“Well this is a situation where smoke detectors saved someone’s life- one of the victims was actually asleep. She was awakened by the alarm going off of the smoke detector, so she was able to get out of the home. The other was not,” said Battalion Chief Donnie West of the Center Point Fire Department.

Neighbors tried to get into the house to help their neighbors, but they were unable to assist Meade inside.

“I understand that there were some residents here locally that attempted to go in and rescue one of the victims, but it was just too much fire and smoke for them to do that,” said Chief West.

The fire is under investigation. CBS 42 News will update you with more information as we receive it.