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Man loses life in Dec. 15 fire

A man lost his life in a fire the evening of Dec. 15 at a duplex at 5343 Hwy 19. The deadly structure fire was reported by a neighbor around 9:05 p.m. Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King announced Dec. 16 that Kevin Lee Botsford, 56, passed away in an accidental fire. According to the Pike County Fire Department Public Information Officer, the structure was fully involved upon arrival of fire department personnel with report of one person trapped. The state fire marshall’s office reported that when firefighters entered the duplex, they were met with the explosion of a propane tank but according to the PCFD, a tank vented instead of exploding. ”Personnel made entry into unburned portion of structure attempting to locate the victim,” said PCFD public information officer Anita Neath. “A viable patient was not located in still habitable portions of the structure. A body recovery took place after entry into the structure was deemed safe by chief personnel.” ’Investigators discovered four different 20-pound propane tanks at the scene of the fire,’ said Commissioner King. ‘Unfortunately, the heater was too close to combustible materials and that led to this deadly accident. It is crucial that Georgians follow my team’s fire safety tips during this winter weather season.’ The death of Mr. Botsford marks the 91st fire fatality in Georgia this year. The Meansville Fire Department was on scene fighting the fire with multiple vehicles and six personnel in addition to the efforts of the PCFD.

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