Man and his dog dead after an early morning fire in Baker County
July 28, 2007
Baker County -- The early hours of Thursday morning were noisy for residents at Plantation Oaks off County Road 45.
"Maybe it might have been someone hitting on the house, but I know it was a constant bam. bam, bam, bam," said neighbor Al Ellis.
The sounds came from 48 year-old Wadell Williams' mobile home. His neighbors said the banging started at about one that morning and continued through the night.
"I laid down to sleep and woke up at about three and it was steady going bam, bam, bam, bam. And to come out and see a house like that was just devastating," said Ellis.
The Newton - Baker Fire Rescue weren't called out until 4:45 AM. But the home was practically burned to the ground when they arrived. The building was so demolished that the roof had to be cut open just to get into the home.
Neighbors say Williams never caused any trouble. "It was basically quiet, and he was a nice guy," said Ellis.
Crime lab results found that the fire started when a pot was left cooking on the stove. Williams passed out in the home because of smoke inhalation. But neighbors still question why his pit bull was inside that night.
"I never known him to be inside. Maybe he would be under the house or jogging around. He would bark but than go back under the house," said Ellis.
Regardless what the tests show, few believe that the fire was an accident after the noises that night. "I just wonder if anyone was banging on the house. I don't know," said Ellis.
The investigation is still ongoing, but authorities have no reason to think there was any foul play.
Wadell Williams' body was sent to Atlanta for a positive DNA identification. It could take a couple of months to get the results back.