Athens man killed when space heater ignites fire in shed he was living in

A 55-year-old man attempting to stay warm with space heaters inside a metal shed was killed when the building caught fire late on Nov. 25, according to the Athens-Clarke County Fire Department.

Athens-Clarke police identified the man as Darrell Roderick Smith, who was living in the shed in his aunt’s backyard on Salisbury Plain Drive in Stonehenge subdivision, according to the report released Tuesday.

Firefighters and police were dispatched about 12:30 a.m. to the home by someone who spotted the fire, but that person was unsure if anyone was in the shed as the homeowner was out of town, police said.

Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson said there were three electric space heaters in the building, and one was apparently too close to the cot where Smith was sleeping.

Once the fire started, Wilson said Smith caught fire and ran outside, where he died.

Fire investigators determined the cause of the fire was accidental, Capt. Nate Moss said Tuesday.

Wilson ordered an autopsy, which was being conducted Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Athens man killed when space heater ignites fire in shed

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