A fire early today claimed the life of Byron C. Shults, 84, of 35946 Highway 41. According to a Bonner County sheriff's report, Shults wife, Donna, 75, put two pieces of wood in the couple's stove at 5:50 a.m. and left the residence. Her husband was sitting in a chair in the living room at the time. When she returned 15 to 20 minutes later, she saw smoke pouring out of the house. Unable to enter the residence, she went next door to summon help. Later, firefighters found her husband's body near the back door. Authorities speculate that he was trying to escape when he was overcome by smoke.