Fire that killed Atlanta doctor involved ‘flammable liquid or gas’

Firefighters found an unexplained quantity of flammable liquid or gas at the scene of an intense house fire in which an Atlanta doctor was found dead in the backyard pool on Saturday.

The Atlanta Fire Department’s incident report on the 6:15 p.m. fire at the 900 block of Oriole Drive listed a liquid or gas as a “contributing factor.” The report also listed the cause of the fire as “intentional,” although fire authorities say that was a preliminary judgment and that they are continuing to investigate the blaze as an arson. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the report Tuesday through the State Open Records Act.

Also on Tuesday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office released the name of the man found dead in the pool. Marcus Moseley, 48, died Saturday after the blaze ripped through his home in southwest Atlanta, the office said.

Witnesses say they saw Moseley running out of the home, on fire and barely wearing any clothes, toward the backyard area, said Atlanta fire Sgt. Cortez Stafford. Neighbors say he was an emergency room doctor.

Officials are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the fire and how Moseley ended up dead in the pool.

The initial incident report also detailed that firefighters faced difficulties in making their way around the house to the back yard. They were thwarted by a locked gate and by intense fire driven by strong winds. Cortez said they made their way around in about five minutes.

They discovered Moseley’s body on the bottom of the pool. A dive team recovered the body.

Atlanta police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting fire officials in the investigation.

Moseley’s death has upset what neighbors say is an otherwise quiet neighborhood of doctors and other professionals.

Moseley had lived in the home with his wife and teenage daughter for about two years without incident, said neighbor Claudie Stanley. She said the family represented a new, younger generation of homeowners in an old established neighborhood. She also said the home had been undergoing extensive renovation work.

“We are concerned about what happened,” she said. “I’m going to do some digging.”