Valdosta Daily Times

September 16, 2010

Fatal house fire blamed on electrical shortage

Dawn Castro
The Valdosta Daily Times

HAHIRA — Authorities now know the cause of the house fire that claimed the lives of an elderly couple Wednesday.

Hahira Fire Chief Dwight Bennett said the cause was officially determined Thursday morning as an electrical shortage in the washing machine.

Georgia State Fire Marshal Glen Allen called the Times shortly after and confirmed the results.

At approximately 5:02 p.m. Wednesday, in the 300 block of Blakely Street, the Hahira Fire Department, Hahira Police Department, and state fire marshals responded to the residence after a 911 call was made.

 Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson said 84-year-old Willie Ratliff and his wife, 74-year-old Arletha, died from smoke inhalation. No autopsy will be performed.