Blaze at home ultimately claims Riverdale man’s life

A 62-year-old Riverdale man has died from his injuries after being pulled from his burning home on Saturday morning.

Clayton County Fire Chief Jacque Felike said the Clayton County Fire Emergency Unit responded to a 911 call on Dalmatia Road, near Riverdale, on Saturday at 1:30 a.m. “The call came in from the neighbors, who noticed that the home was on fire,” said Felike.

Felike said the man and his 28-year old daughter — who were not identified — were pulled from the burning home. Felike said the father was not breathing but was revived by rescuers and was rushed to Southern Medical Center in Riverdale. She said he was then transferred to Grady Hospital in Atlanta, where he died, Sunday, from his injuries. The daughter, Felike added, sustained burns to her face and arms and was taken to the burn unit at Grady, where she is listed in critical condition.

Felike credited the neighbors for their immediate action, on Saturday, in what she described as a close-knit neighborhood. She said by the time the fire units made it to the address, the neighbors had already pulled the woman from the home. “The neighbors kicked in the door and saw that the 28-year-old was already by the door barely breathing and they were able to pull her from the home.”

She added when the fire units arrived, the home was engulfed in flames, and that’s when firefighters went into the home searching for the 62-year-old man. “He was found on the bed in the master bedroom, where he was not breathing,” said Felike.

Felike said while on scene, neighbors also feared that woman’s 5-year-old son was still in the home. She said units searched the home and the boy was not found; however, he was located later with relatives. “The neighbors gave us information as to where other relatives were and we called and found out the child was not here [at the burning house],” said Felike. “He was spending the night with relatives, so we were very relieved at that.”

Felike said she believes the cause of the fire was accidental and does not suspect in foul play. However, the official cause of the fire has not been determined.