State investigates Cordele fire - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State investigates Cordele fire

CORDELE, GA (WALB) -

State investigators spent the day in Cordele trying to determine what started a fire that badly burned a man early today.

Around 4:30 this morning, Tonya Cross awoke to red emergency lights flashing into her bedroom windows. "I was looking around my room and everything was red like lights, and I got up and I looked out the window, and fire trucks were everywhere," she said.

 One house down, emergency vehicles surrounded the home of 33-year-old Tyrone Newsome. A neighbor called 911, after Newsome's wife and three small kids ran next door and said there was a fire in their bedroom closet.

"The mother said she brought them all out, they were in the car, but he went back inside," said Augusta Telfair, Cordele Fire Chief.

Newsome went back inside to look for one of his kids he thought was still inside. Then he tried to put out the fire on his own. He was burned over fifty percent of his body third degree burns from upper part of the body and the face.

Firefighters found him barely breathing beside the bed. "It was about 1,200 degrees in that room," said the chief.

He was taken by helicopter to the Augusta Burn Center and is now in critical condition. "It's a life or death situation. Once a person is burned that bad, they may or may not survive, Telfair said.

Now investigators are trying to figure out why he went back inside the home, and what caused the fire. "With the amount of fire damage, he shouldn't of been burned like he was. In fact he shouldn't have been burnt at all," said the investigator.

The fire was small and didn't get escape the closet. "It wasn't a very big fire, that's why we called the fire Marshall in. There were no electrical components there, other than the light in the closet," said the chief.

The fire started on the floor of the closet. Officials say two of the kids were sleeping next to their parents bed near the closet. "Nothing looks suspicious so far as the fire itself, but there are some circumstances that we are still looking at and investigating," said James Atkins, State fire investigator.

Investigators with State Fire Marshals office Investigators do not think it's an arson but It could be several weeks before they determine a cause. Newsome is a smoker, and investigators are trying to figure out if that played a role.

Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.

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