2 Valdosta State prisoners die after mattress fire - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

2 Valdosta State prisoners die after mattress fire

31 year-old Richard Strickland passed away at the hospital around 1:30 am on Wednesday. 31 year-old Richard Strickland passed away at the hospital around 1:30 am on Wednesday.
36 year-old Cody Vestal died around 7:00 pm on Tuesday 36 year-old Cody Vestal died around 7:00 pm on Tuesday
Officials say both bodies were transported to the GBI Crime lab medical examiners office in Macon. Officials say both bodies were transported to the GBI Crime lab medical examiners office in Macon.
Brad Carter, Lowndes County Deputy Coroner Brad Carter, Lowndes County Deputy Coroner
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Two Valdosta State Prison inmates are dead after a mattress in their cell caught fire. 

Investigators say cellmates Richard Strickland and Cody Vestal passed away following the fire Tuesday.  Officials are still investigating to determine how the fire started.

Officials say both prisoners were rushed to South Georgia Medical Center.

36 year-old Cody Vestal died around 7:00 pm on Tuesday. 31 year-old Richard Strickland passed away at the hospital around 1:30 am on Wednesday.

"We get one or two deaths at the prison whether they're natural or accidental or even homicide but this is the first time since I've been deputy since 2012 that we've had a fire incident," said Lowndes County Deputy Coroner, Brad Carter.

Officials say both bodies were transported to the GBI Crime lab medical examiners office in Macon.

It could be two to three months before they get back the final autopsy report and have an official cause of death.

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