Victim of fatal Albany house fire identified - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Victim of fatal Albany house fire identified

Crews responded to a fatal house fire in Albany Wednesday night. (Source: WALB) Crews responded to a fatal house fire in Albany Wednesday night. (Source: WALB)
Investigator Sam Harris (Source: WALB) Investigator Sam Harris (Source: WALB)
One man died in this house after an unattended cooking fire (Source: WALB) One man died in this house after an unattended cooking fire (Source: WALB)
Harris said to never leave food cooking unattended (Source: WALB) Harris said to never leave food cooking unattended (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany fire crews responded to the scene of a fatal fire Wednesday evening.

It happened in the 100 block of Wells Avenue.

According to Albany firefighters, the body of Shelley James Keaton, 67,  was found inside the living room of the residence.

Investigators said an unattended cooking fire killed one man inside the home. 

Not much remains at this home on Wells Avenue.

A charred box spring, singed furniture, and broken glass were all that's left after an unattended cooking fire. 

"The pots sits here. It melts. It's an aluminum pot. It melts, runs through the eye, and that shows that it's on," said Albany Fire Department Investigator Sam Harris. 

This is where investigators say Shelley Keaton, 67, was cooking food Wednesday night around 8.

They said, unfortunately, it appears he didn't keep an eye on it.

A mistake that cost him his life

"If you're cooking, make sure you stay with it," he said.  "It's always a heat source.  That's how we cook. So if you have a heat source, then of course you have the danger of causing a fire."

Investigator Harris said a neighbor called 911 when they saw the house engulfed in flames.

When firefighters arrived, they found Keaton's body inside the living room, near the front door. 

Investigator Harris said the smoke would have made it difficult for Keaton to find a way out. 

"Adults are the worst ones for standing up in the fire," he said. "Therefore, when you're breathing that, it makes you where you're disoriented like you're intoxicated.  And what concerns us is, if you stay low, you don't get that effect."

The Dougherty County coroner said Keaton died of smoke and soot inhalation. 

Investigators were searching for another occupant of the home after the fire, but determined she was out of town when it happened. 

Investigators Harris reminded homeowners to have working smoke detectors in their kitchen and near their bedrooms.

He also reminded people using space heaters to alternate where you place those heaters.

That way, you're not drying out the moisture in one particular spot continuously. 

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