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Homeless man severely burned in fire

Vacant mobile home burns off Athens Highway

POSTED: June 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.
An elderly homeless man was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital with severe burns after a vacant mobile home caught fire Thursday afternoon at an Athens Highway mobile home park.

Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle said the man, whose name and age were not confirmed Thursday, suffered third-degree burns to about 40 percent of his body.

Firefighters at Fire Station No. 1 noticed a column of smoke shortly after 2:40 p.m. Thursday and discovered the fire at the David Swindle Mobile Home Park when they went to investigate, Cagle said. No neighbors were home at the time.

The older, 12-by-60-foot mobile home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

While they were putting out the fire, firefighters discovered the victim sitting in the backyard with severe burns. Cagle said the man was homeless and stayed at the vacant home on occasion.

"It’s very possible he started (the fire) accidentally," Cagle said. The fire was not believed to be intentionally set, he said.

Cagle said first responders were able to speak briefly with the victim. Fire officials believe he may have re-entered the home after it caught fire to get his glasses, Cagle said.

A helicopter took the man to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was in critical condition at the hospital’s burn center Thursday.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.



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