January 18, 2021

Authorities identify victim in fatal house fire

(Franklin, GA) — A 70-year-old Heard County man was killed in a fatal house fire Sunday in the Frolona community near the Alabama line.

In a report issued by Heard County Fire Chief Steve Wirth this morning, the victim was identified as 70-year-old Dennis Higgins.

Heard County Emergency Services were dispatched at 6:13 AM to 70 Arrington Loop for a reported mattress on fire.

While en route, units were notified there were three residents that were in the house that were attempting to escape.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the rear portion of the home involved with fire and heavy smoke conditions through out the structure.

Two of the residents, 75-year-old Troy Shelnutt and  68-year-old Bill Weber, were outside and stated that they had tried to get Higgins out, but the smoke and fire became too intense and they had to get out.

Fire suppression was started and a search of the uninvolved portion of the structure was done in an attempt to locate Mr. Higgins.

Mr. Higgins was later located in the rear portion of the structure. Fire units were on scene until 2:30 PM.

The Georgia State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to assist in determining the cause of the fire. The investigator determined the fire was accidental.

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