Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

January 5, 2013

Smoking led to fatal fire

LESLIE — Although the investigation continues into a fire that claimed a life on Dec. 30, smoking played a role in the fatal fire.

Glenn Allen, a media liaison with State Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner Ralph Hudgens’ office, told the Times-Recorder that the “improper use of smoking materials” led to the fire but that the investigation was not yet complete.

The Sumter County Fire Department was called out at 1:45 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30 to 608 R.W. Jones Road in rural southern Sumter County near the Lee County line.

The victim was identified as Doris Ann Fields, 68, of 608 R.W. Jones Road, Leslie, according to Deputy Coroner Buddy Wilbanks. He said Fields was "dead at the scene" of the fire and her body was transported to the State Crime Lab for autopsy. Those results have not yet been released.

Another resident, Doris Hooper. the elderly mother of the victim, was airlifted to a Macon hospital for treatment to burns she sustained.

Sumter County Fire Chief John Ekaitis said six units and 34 firefighters from his department battled the fire at the single-family home which was "fully involved" upon their arrival. He said mutual aid came from the Lee County Fire Department. The Sumter County Sheriff's Office and Vital Care also responded, he said.

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