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Elderly man dies in blaze at his home

An elderly Thomson man died in a house fire Monday morning, authorities say.

McDuffie County Coroner Rhusha Mack identified the victim as 68-year-old Jessie Ramsey, who lived at 631 Adams Ave. An autopsy was scheduled to be performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory in Augusta to determine the exact cause of Mr. Ramsey's death.

Mr. Mack said he pronounced Mr. Ramsey dead at 9:35 a.m.

Mr. Ramsey had lived in the concrete block house for about a year, according to his daughter-in-law, Patricia Moss, of Thomson.

Mr. Ramsey was disabled and walked with a cane, because he had "bad" feet, Mrs. Moss said.

About a dozen firefighters with the Thomson Fire Department responded to the call shortly after 8:30 a.m.

Also called to the scene was Thomson Police Investigator Lt. Scott Whittle and State Fire Marshal Investigator Michael Crosby.

Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Sewell said firefighters discovered the victim's body inside the home shortly after they extinguished the flames. The victim was found by Lt. Chip Bentley, the first firefighter to arrive on the scene, Chief Sewell said.

"We have turned the investigation over to the state fire marshal's office and they'll have to release any other information," Chief Sewell said.

Glenn Allen, a spokesman for the Georgia State Insurance Commission, said the fire has been ruled accidental.

Mr. Allen said Mr. Ramsey's body was discovered in a chair in the living room. A hot plate was found near his feet.

Mr. Allen said the state investigator had determined that the hot plate was being used as a heating device by Mr. Ramsey. Authorities found no other source of heat in the house, he noted.

Web posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009

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