Capt. Tommy Rutledge with Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services said an elderly man died in a house fire in the 500 block of Hoke Okelly Mill Road, SE in unincorporated Loganville early Saturday morning. He said firefighters responded to the call at 7:10 a.m. on March 18, 2017.
“The caller to 9-1-1 reported smoke visible and someone still inside. The fire was reported by a relative of the victim, who lives close by on the property. A Gwinnett County police officer was the first to arrive and was unable to immediately enter the home due to smoke and fire conditions,” Rutledge said in a press release. “Firefighters found heavy smoke showing from an older single-story farmhouse and flames inside. Crews quickly deployed attack hose lines and entered the home to search for the victim and control the fire. Interior crews were immediately challenged with heavy content loading inside the house.”
Rutledge said crews were able to locate the elderly adult male, but he was unconscious and unresponsive. Despite advance life support measures and transport to Gwinnett Medical Center, he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Rutledge said that according to fire investigators the fire appears to be accidental, sparked by an electrical source. Nobody else was inside the home and no other injuries were reported. The smoke alarm was heard as firefighters overhauled the charred debris and doused hotspots. The identify of the victim has not been released at this time.
“This fire is a tragic reminder of the importance of following proper home fire safety practices. Look for and eliminate home hazards that could cause a fire to start. Install working smoke alarms on every level and keep exit pathways clear of obstructions. Know two ways out and have an escape plan,” Rutledge said.