A house fire claimed the life of a Baldwin County man Saturday night, local authorities say.
Baldwin County Fire Rescue Chief Victor Young said the fire broke out at a large ranch-style block house at 145 Minor Road, which runs off Ga. Route East near Lovers Lane.
Firefighters received the call at 8:45 p.m.
The victim, identified as Joseph Dixon, was a longtime resident of Baldwin County, Young said.
Firefighters discovered Dixon’s badly burned body in a closet area of the master bedroom, Young told The Union-Recorder.
“We believe he was trying to escape the fire,” Young said.
Dixon was rescued from the burning dwelling by BCFR Firefighters Jaimirio Morris and Jesse Law. A third firefighter, Jeff Allbright, assisted his colleagues and the victim to a safety area.
Young said Dixon sustained a “substantial” amount of burns over his body.
Lifesaving measures were administered to Dixon after firefighters brought him out of the burning house.
Dixon was reportedly unconscious but breathing at the time.
“He was given CPR at the scene,” Young said.
Personnel from Grady Emergency Medical Services took Dixon by ambulance to the emergency department of Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin hospital in Milledgeville where he later was pronounced dead at 9:25 p.m. Saturday, according to Baldwin County Chief Deputy Coroner Ken Garland.
An autopsy is expected to be performed Wednesday at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory in Decatur to determine the cause and manner of Dixon’s death, Garland said.,
Baldwin County Fire Rescue Investigator Capt. Bradley Towe said he had determined that Dixon had gone to the kitchen and was preparing to cook something on the stove. He later went into the living room and fell asleep on the couch.
After the fire broke out, the victim got to his bedroom where he collapsed and was later rescued.
Towe said he spent about 14 hours trying to determine the cause of the fire before he attributed it to unattended cooking on the stove.
“The investigation into a cause of the fire began right after the fire was extinguished that night. We finished up about 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon,” Towe said. “I’d say about 14 hours.”
It marked the first fatal fire in Baldwin County this year.