A 45-year-old Salem, Ala., woman was found dead and alone in her home when authorities responded to a fire there Thursday morning.
Lee County coroner Bill Harris declined to release the victim's name until her family is notified.
A water meter reader in the neighborhood along Lee Road 2088 noticed smoke coming from the residence and called 911, Harris said.
When units from the Salem and Crawford volunteer fire departments arrived, the fire was breaking through the roof, Harris said. The victim was found unresponsive in her living room area, and she was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:45 a.m., he said.
"We don't know the cause of the fire," Harris said. "The state fire marshal is on the scene. ... The house is a total loss."
The victim's body was taken to the state crime lab in Montgomery, Ala., to determine the cause of death.