Chilly night ends with man dying in fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Chilly night ends with man dying in fire

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Employers ready for upcoming job fair at Moody AFB

    Employers ready for upcoming job fair at Moody AFB

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:36 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:36:59 GMT
     Thursday morning, the Valdosta-Lowndes County chamber, along with the Department of Labor, held their second and final "Operation Moody Transition" employer workshop ahead of the September 4th job fair.More >>
     Thursday morning, the Valdosta-Lowndes County chamber, along with the Department of Labor, held their second and final "Operation Moody Transition" employer workshop ahead of the September 4th job fair.
    More >>
  • GEMA offers 10 tips during extreme heat

    GEMA offers 10 tips during extreme heat

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:17 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:17:46 GMT
    A heat wave will make it feel like the temperature is over 100º in the next couple of days in South Georgia. The CDC says extreme heat is the top weather-related killer in the nation, claiming approximately 400 lives per year. More >>
    A heat wave will make it feel like the temperature is over 100º in the next couple of days in South Georgia. The CDC says extreme heat is the top weather-related killer in the nation, claiming approximately 400 lives per year. More >>
  • Montford Point Marine to be honored at MCLB

    Montford Point Marine to be honored at MCLB

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:55 AM EDT2014-08-21 12:55:05 GMT
    Private First Class James Windom became a member of the Montford Point Marines in June 1943. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in Aug. 1949. The Windom family will be at the ceremony Friday to accept his award.More >>
    Private First Class James Windom became a member of the Montford Point Marines in June 1943. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in Aug. 1949. The Windom family will be at the ceremony Friday to accept his award.More >>

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

Leslie,  GA (WALB) -  An elderly man trying to stay warm in his home in Leslie Saturday night was killed in a fire. The man was heating his room with an electric space heater, and apparently woke up to a raging fire. He tried to escape out a bedroom window, but didn't make it out.         

In an attempt to stay warm, and get a good night's sleep Saturday night, 87-year-old Simmie Williams plugged in his space heater, and left it on as he dozed off. He woke up to smoke and fire.

Jimmy Williams lived with his Uncle Simmie. He wasn't home when the house went up in flames, but came rushing over when he got the call.  "When I got here the fire was still burning. First thing I did was run to his bedroom window, but an officer pulled me back."

Fire officials say Mr. Williams tried to jump out the window. He was unsuccessful. "Makes me very sad, because I hate to think he burned alive," said Williams.

A heartbreaking loss on the night before his nephew's 63rd birthday. A horrible accident that could have been avoided. "The cause of the fire was a space heater that was plugged in and located less than a foot away from the bed," said Police Chief Bob Smith.

Close enough to catch his bed blankets on fire. Leaving family and friends behind, grieving.

"He was a very loving man. He was a father to everybody, could really make you laugh..." said neighbor Jimmy Wright.

So in his honor, that's exactly what family members did Monday-- Laugh, smile, and remember the man they love.

A memorial service will be held for Mr. Williams at Piney Grove number 3 in Smithville this Saturday. A time hasn't been set.

That electric space heater was not only too close to the bed, it was plugged in to a multi-outlet surge protector.

As cold weather heads our way,  remember to keep space heaters several feet away from flammable objects, turn it off if possible when you go to sleep, and plug it directly in the wall. Do NOT use an extension cord or surge protector.

©2009 WALB News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.  Feedback