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Clayton County man dies in fire

By Ed Brock

Friends of real estate broker Ray Siewert stood across the street from the fire ravaged wreckage of his house and paid tribute to him.

"He would do anything for you," said Ann Brannen, a former neighbor of Siewert.

Between 2 and 2:25 a.m. Friday a fire broke out in 57-year-old Siewert's house on Drew Court just outside Riverdale.

"It was fully involved when we got there and there was one adult fatality," said Amy Nix, spokeswoman for the Clayton County Fire Department.

Investigators with the fire department were combing through the ashes of the home on Friday and still had not determined the cause of the fire, Nix said. The house was destroyed.

Siewert's daughter Sara Siewert lives across the street from the house where Siewert lived alone, but she didn't want to comment on the fire. One friend of Siewert said Siewert, who was a Vietnam veteran, also has a son in the Air Force.

"He was really well known in the real estate community. Well liked by everyone," the friend said.

Siewert was a member of the Riverdale Kiwanis Club for 25 years, serving as president, vice president and most recently as treasurer, said the club's secretary Don Morris.

"I saw him last night (at the club's meeting). He installed a new member for us," Morris said. "He was very faithful and loyal to the club. I thought the world of him."

Morris said members of the club have offered to serve as pallbearers for Siewert.

Siewert's friend also said Siewert taught classes on real estate brokering at Clayton College & State University and with the Clayton and Henry Board of Realtors.

Southlake Kiwanis Club member Lou Hisel said he took Siewert's class in 1991.

"He was excellent, very professional," Hisel said. "He knew his topic very, very well."

Siewert talked to every member of the class equally and all of his students were well prepared for the Realtor's test.

"He was a fine man and will be missed," Hisel said.

Mary Owens lives next door to Siewert's house and her home sustained minor damage from the fire.

"I knew him as a neighbor," Owens said.

Owens was roused from her sleep by another neighbor when the fire broke out.

"Somebody knocked on the door and said `fire, get out.' The house was fully involved," Owens said. "I just moved my car down the road and waited for the fire department."