Paulding County fire crews were called to the scene of a house fire on Trace Road on New Year's Eve.
Photo: Paulding County Fire Department
Photo: Paulding County Fire Department

Identity of man killed in Paulding house fire on New Year’s Eve still a mystery 

A New Year’s Eve house fire in Paulding County left a man dead, authorities said Wednesday.

Firefighters were called to the home on Trace Road about 11 p.m. A neighbor made the initial 911 call and said the man, who was the only resident, might be inside.

When firefighters arrived minutes later, the two-story home was engulfed in flames and crews worked for almost an hour until the fire was declared under control at midnight. The roof also collapsed while crews attempted to search the home.

The man was found in the collapsed basement. Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King said the victim’s body was sent to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy.

His identity has not been determined “due to the severity of the damages to the body,” King said in a news release Thursday.

The cause of the fire is ruled undetermined, “but several factors involved include smoking in bed and multiple space heaters too close to combustibles,” King said.

No smoke alarms were found in the house.

The Paulding fire follows another major fire at a College Park apartment building also on New Year’s Eve that displaced about 30 people. About the same number of people were displaced by a fire Monday night at a Gwinnett County apartment complex that partially collapsed. Three people, including a 97-year-old grandmother with severe burns, were hospitalized on Christmas Day following a house fire in DeKalb County.

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