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UPDATE: Man found dead in DeKalb house fire ID’d

DeKalb County officials are investigating a deadly house fire on Covington Highway.

When firefighters arrived at a home in the 7300 block around 4 a.m. Thursday, about 70 percent of the residence was fully involved in flames, a DeKalb fire official said.

A 42-year-old man was found dead in a second-floor bedroom. He was identified Friday by the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s office as Adelfo Jimenez of Lithonia.

Four other family members were able to escape. A man in his 20s was taken to a local hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, fire Capt. Dion Bentley said.

 

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The rest were checked out by medics at the scene for possible smoke inhalation, according to Bentley.

A family stands outside their Covington Highway home Thursday morning after they were forced to evacuate because of a fire. A 42-year-old man did not make it out. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

It appears the fire started on the left side of the split-level home, near the living areas, investigators said.

The layout of the house made it difficult for firefighters to make their way inside.

“We made entry through the front door,” Bentley said. “The flames were too heavy, we had to back out and go defensive for a few ... because of where the stairs were located inside of the house, there was no way to make entry up the stairs.”

 

They ended up using a ladder to get to the second floor, where they found the man in a back bedroom.

“At this time, the cause of the fire is still under investigation,” Bentley said.

Covington Highway between Main Street and Lithonia Industrial Boulevard was shut down while fire crews and investigators were on the scene, Channel 2 Action News reported. 

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